As preseason continues Stefano Pioli is finding out more with each passing day regarding the midfielders he has at his disposal, and the department remains a ‘work in progress’.
As MilanNews writes, Tijjani Reijnders was among the most positive players during the tour in the United States but on Tuesday evening against Monza in the Silvio Berlusconi trophy he was even better.
The Dutchman showcased several glimpses of his elegant and concrete repertoire. His ball management, dialogue with team-mates, head-up dribbling, recovery and verticality all stood out.
Despite playing as the left-sided mezzala against Monza in the 4-3-3 system, there is the feeling that he will be the director of the midfield for Pioli’s new Milan.
The ball often passes through his feet, both when the attacking build-up develops down the left with Leao and Theo and when it has to be carried quickly to the right, where Loftus-Cheek and Pulisic can hurt in different ways.
After Tonali’s farewell and Bennacer’s injury the midfield is still in need of some work and some stability. Reijnders is a fixed point, Loftus-Cheek presumably another, and the third element could well be Yunus Musah.
At the moment Krunic is playing as the deeper-lying player in the three and he has different characteristics from Musah. If Pioli were able to channel the abilities of the USA international for that No.6 role, the department would be almost complete.
In the meantime, Pioli is working to get a complete midfield as the many friendlies prove. Reijnders is showing his ability during these games and making it clear that he is the first name on the team sheet for the trio in front of the defence and behind the attack.