AC Milan’s preseason campaign has now officially come to an end, allowing us to draw assessments on what was learned from the seven games played.
The campaign started on 4 July at Milanello as Pioli’s men faced Lemine Almenno, and then it continued with trips to FC Köln, ZTE, Wolfsberger and Marseille, before returning home to face Vicenza and Pergolettese over the weekend. The result: six wins and one defeat, with 27 goals scored and 6 conceded. MilanNews have noted the positives and negatives.
Positives: Milan looked sharp in terms of their cohesion and attacking play. Giroud scored four goals, Theo Hernandez’s physical condition looked excellent, Junior Messias netted four times and Rafael Leao was also always dangerous.
It was also nice to see Ante Rebic back scoring again and playing with confidence, while the pairing between Fikayo Tomori and Pierre Kalulu continues to look superb. Matteo Gabbia was always up to speed when called into question, and there were some flashes of quality by Brahim Diaz.
Moreover, the new addition Yacine Adli has ‘already intrigued the Rossoneri world with his great quality’ and there was a promising cameo from Charles De Ketelaere, who scored a hat-trick against Pergolettese.
Negative: There weren’t many negatives, but the first half hour against ZTE fit into this category as the team looked way off the pace and were 3-0 down. Sandro Tonali’s flexor problem suffered in the friendly match in Vicenza is a sour note too but he should only miss one game.
Tiemoue Bakayoko remains an enigma and the fact he didn’t play much is perhaps an indication of how far outside the plans he is, while Fode Ballo-Touré had some bright moments but also does not seem to be at the level of the rest of the team yet, even though he has more hopes of recovering Pioli’s trust than Bakayoko.