MN: New management, new signings, new formation – Milan head to Bologna all changed

By Oliver Fisher -

A lot has changed at AC Milan over the summer, and Stefano Pioli will lead his troops to Bologna on Monday hoping to prove that they are serious title candidates.

MilanNews recall how Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s farewell after the final game of the season was followed by those of Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara as well as the sale of Sandro Tonali and the departure of Brahim Diaz.

However, the new-look management of CEO Giorgio Furlani and chief scout Geoffrey Moncada gave Pioli no less than eight signings with that money: Marco Sportiello, Luka Romero, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic, Noah Okafor, Samuel Chukwueze, Tijjani Reijnders and Yunus Musah.

Milan did their business quickly and effectively so Pioli had as much time to help them gel as possible. He also changed to a new formation, leaning on the 4-3-3 to get the most out of a new crop of box-to-box midfielders.

The one-on-one strength of Rafael Leao on the left plus the choice of Christian Pulisic or Samuel Chukwueze on the right also should make the Rossoneri stronger on the flanks.

The starter at the base of the midfield was Rade Krunic throughout the preseason, a new role for the Bosnian in which he demonstrated some difficulty in positioning.

A small novelty is the position of the full-backs: if Theo Hernandez has a lot of freedom and variety of movement, the right-back (whether it’s Davide Calabria, Alessandro Florenzi or Pierre Kalulu) often tucks inside to help in the build-up and transition phases.

The defensive department in general remain on trial. Except in games against lesser opponents, Milan conceded goals in every game mainly due to obvious errors, so that must be fixed.

The line-up for Bologna seems obvious. It will be the 4-3-3 with Loftus-Cheek, Reijnders and Pulisic immediately on the field. There won’t be any big absences, except for Ismael Bennacer and the disqualified Musah.

Pulisic should get the nod over Chukwueze on the right who is ready to come off the bench and have his say. The only doubt concerns the right-back role: Calabria has recovered, but in the last few games Pioli has tried Kalulu there.

Tags AC Milan Bologna Milan


  1. Classic media take on things.

    New signings which are all mostly untested are guarantees and all the question marks are about the players who actually played for the team over the last couple of years and actually won stuff!

    This then sets up a nice narrative where the media can push out those existing players. If we’re lucky next year we can replace our entire defence.

    How to dismantle a title winning side in the space of 2 years!

    And let’s ignore the fact (because who needs facts) that Milan actually played 433 in the champions league last season and Krunic actually played DM in actual games where Milan actually only conceded 1/4 games which in an actual fact helped Milan reach the semi-finals of the actual Champions League.

    None of these actualities seem to matter when you can just produce endless content with wild speculation which demand a never ending merry-go-round of transfers.

    And the crowd called out for more.

    1. You know the starting lineup still has 8 of the guys from last year….nvm you’re upset that your idol Krunic doesn’t want to be in Milan anymore, what a gut punch. Maybe he’ll win that elusive Ballon D’Or with Fener.

  2. Should have sold Leao if they wanted fluidity and unpredictability in the attack…can’t have 1v1 one side and the rest dynamic.

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