MN: Sabac to Salzburg – Pavlovic’s career so far as Milan open talks

By Ben Dixon -

In the past week, Strahinja Pavlovic had risen quickly as a new target for AC Milan, and the Serbian defender could be exactly what Paulo Fonseca is seeking.

Reports suggested after Fonseca’s arrival that the defence would be built around Fikayo Tomori, and for good reason. Next season will be the Englishman’s fifth season in Serie A, a fantastic defender, who will only continue to grow further in years to come, so it makes sense why the Portuguese coach has chosen this destiny.

However, the defence is not a finished article, and if Tomori is to be built around, the defence requires improvements to be made in the mercato.

Currently, it seems that the leading candidate is Pavlovic, the RB Salzburg defender who impressed in the Austrian Bundesliga and the European Championship. Reports from this morning suggested that Milan opened talks for him, and he is keen on the move, so things are looking good.

With this in mind, Milan News took stock of his career so far, speaking about his debut in 2019 for Partizan. It took less than a year for his talent to be noticed, though, and Monaco snapped him up for €10 million in December of the same year.

Following two difficult seasons in France, six months with Cercle Bruges, and half a year with Basel, the Sabac-born defender found a new home in Austria, when Salzburg paid €7m for his services.

Since then, the 23-year-old has made 71 appearances in two seasons, figures which are highly impressive and will lessen any worries about his availability. An aerial monster who has been regularly compared to Nemanja Vidic, his profile is a greatly intriguing one, and he could be the perfect partner for Tomori, especially considering he is left-footed.

Tags AC Milan Strahinja Pavlovic


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    1. Tomori is good. Just needed a new coach and better partner. He looked amazing next to Kalulu. Thiaw made a lot of mistakes that Tomori had to clean up putting him in a bad position. Not to mention the non existent defensive midfield that they are also correcting.

      1. Tomori is not Good at all a defender with defensive errors is not Good even thiaw,kalulu,simic can act as either partners to Gabbia but if we sign Pavlovic and Emerson royal, the line up in defence will be royal, Gabbia, Pavlovic,Theo Hernandez. Then kalulu will play as substitute for royal

    2. If he doesn’t work out we still got thiaw and gabbia to step up. Tomori definitely needs another season to see if he will establish himself long term at Milan or is this as far as he goes

        1. If that was true pioli would’ve benched him years ago. Playing with the ball at his feat is actually one of his strengths.

          I swear majority of you so called football fans aren’t fit to watch a local 5v5 game let alone professional association football games.

          Maybe yall don’t have local 5v5 games and that’s why yall so clueless about the game

          1. ‘If that was true pioli would’ve benched him years ago’ – Pioli had no clue when to bench players and when to bring them on, that’s why he’s gone.
            Tomori is not a confident CB and that is why he is not part of England’s setup. He’s reached his limit.

          2. He isn’t in the national team because he doesn’t play in England. Most people think Southgate is a fool for not calling him up. English people

  1. He would be a great signing IF they can get him.
    Not only he is a very good defender, but he also brings a mentality and attitude that Milan lacks.
    Pavlovic being left footed will finally put Tomori on the right side of the defense where he looked the best while playing next to Romagnoli.
    Pavlovic style of play and appearance reminisce the great Jaap Stam.
    As good if not already better than Boungiorno, even though he is 2 years younger.
    Plus he comes in with UCL, World Cup and Euro experience, and proof that can play in 3 and 4 men defense. Unlike Boungiorno, who only has Serie A and Copa Italia experience, and we don’t know how good he is in back 4. Not to mention cheaper as well.

  2. All sorts of names coming out of the woodworks. That’s the thing with Milan’s targets – your never know who they are really after unless they come out and say it, like Zirkzee.

  3. Hope we get this guy. This is the type of players we should be after. Young, promising, within the 20mil range. Simmilar like what Maldini did with Theo and Leao.

  4. Can someone help me understand why we are not pairing Kalulu with Tomori? They were a helluva tandem.

    The only thing I can come up with is size in that Kalulu is short and not great in the air. (I get the injury thing but that plague affected all our defense except The on last year so eliminating it as a factor and looking more for profile and play characteristics)

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Kalulu is not a good cb. People won’t admit that because he had a good half a season on the scudeto run but it’s the cold hard truth. Ofc the injuries haven’t done him any favours either because of them he never had a chance, so far, to improve on cb. But overall he doesn’t have that high a ceiling on cb, like thiaw or gabbia do.

    2. Kalulu is a solid rotational CB but he really shines at RB, and with a season free of injuries he should do well there. His athleticism is exactly what Calabria lacks even though Davide is solid defensively but often gets cooked by faster players. If we can sort the rotation out this season and minimalise injuries we should be fine. The only real issues we’ve had consistently is injuries, and I hope the new backroom staff will bring with them more expertise than Pioli’s people, because that’s where the real changes need to take place.

      1. I can see what you are saying. It’s not so much that he is a bad CB, rather he is a better RB.

        We seem well stocked at CB with Tomori, Gabbia, Thiaw (who I find suspect but think could still come good). Then with Simic on the way up we have insurance as well.

        So follow up –

        Given the unfathomable inversions that were going on last season, do you think Calabria was getting cooked b/c we played a system regardless of matchup? Seems to me with help against the likes of an Mbappe, Saka, etc he does well. Since nearly every RB in the world would need that bit of help, why are we concerned? Heck even Theo is a liability at times.

        1. Pioli once said that Kalulu was probably best suited to be a CB in a back 3. I think he is right on that point.

          He has done well in both roles when he is fit and gives us a lot of flexibility across positions and formations. So he is great for squad depth.

    3. Fik & Pierre formed a formidable duo also mainly thanks to Kessie (or his role, at least). As they both have ‘quite similar’ trait where they often got pulled by the opponents and Kessie doing the zonal cover.

      Right from the first match againts Udinese after that Scudetto season I literally said our defence was in danger and Fik – Pierre might be just one season wonder. As as you might expect, all hell broke loose here back then.

  5. If this is true then I think Thiaw will be sold. There’s no way they’re spending 20 millions for a sub. And Thiaw is currently too much of an asset to sit on the bench where his value will drop.

  6. This guy is better than Thiaw.

    Way better. And also an Aerial Threat. He’s experienced enough yet still young to grow. I would have hoped we would sign another experienced defender though.

    I still we should try for Mats Hummels too. But we would have to sell Thiaw.

  7. Tomori is not a Good centre back this was what I complained about him last season but coach Pioli refused to listen because he was a fan of tomori I even prefer Kjaer Simon to him Acmilan conceided a lot of goals and majority of those goal was defensive errors done by tomori even let me tell you kalulu, Gabbia, bartasaghi are all ahead of tomori, to crame it all tomori is not important for Acmilan he should look for club else where is time is up let’s use Pavlovic to replace him ok imagine somebody that England his country did not call him at all.

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