MN: Saelemaekers and Messias so far justifying bold call from Milan management

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan headed into the new season with the two same right wingers as they had last season in Alexis Saelemaekers and Junior Messias, and they have earned Stefano Pioli’s trust.

MilanNews recalls how there were many targets mentioned over the summer for the role including the likes of Domenico Berardi, Marco Asensio, Hakim Ziyech and even Riyad Mahrez, but Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara decided to back the Belgian and the Brazilian.

Pioli tends to alternate Saelemakers and Messias depending on the characteristics of the opponent they are facing, while the arrival of Sergino Dest – who can also play as a right winger – has not affected Saelemaekers and Messias in the slightest.

Saelemaekers has appeared in 8 out of 9 games this season for a total of 371 minutes played, scoring 2 goals – both in the Champions League against RB Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb – and adding an assist.

The former Anderlecht man has drawn criticism for not being clinical in front of goal but if he keeps going with the current positive signs then he may achieve his dream of securing a starting role at the World Cup with Belgium.

Messias, on the other hand, has taken the field in all 9 games played so far by Milan. The Brazilian has totaled 408 minutes for now, scoring a goal in the 2-1 away win against Sampdoria, and the management can therefore be happy with their contribution so far.

Tags AC Milan Alexis Saelemaekers Junior Messias


  1. Really? Happy with their contribution? Messias has been generally bad all season long; and Saelemakers (while slightly better than Messias) has also been mostly bad. Besides his 2 goals in the two CL matches, I acknowledge he did play better in those matches (couple decent crosses and didn’t lose his dribble constantly like most matches); but other than those 2 CL matches, we have continued to see what we saw most of last year … poor touches, poor decisions, inaccurate passes.

    And honestly, while it was nice to see him actually hit the target and not miss embarrassingly like he’s done so many times before, for both of those goals he scored — most of the credit goes to Leao for his fantastic dribbling past multiple defenders and with beautiful passes into the box for Saele, he served those 2 goals on a platter for Alexis.

    If I’m management, I AM NOT SATISFIED with the RW position. Not in the least bit.

    I still want to see Dest there… or we need to go after a player who can be clinical, creative and productive in the final third.

  2. This is the most stupid article, the only one I can say is fair to justify is saele since he’s improved since last year, but Messias? Should’ve sent him back to FedEx

  3. Agree, Saele has improved… he’s showing some positive signs; I was excited to see him play after the win over Dinamo Zagreb (which I thought was his best match ever for us); but then he had a really terrible game. Having one good game got to his head? He got cocky and overconfident after just one game? I don’t know; but it was very bad.

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