Arriving from Brescia in the summer, the initial plan was to slowly integrate Sandro Tonali into the team. Instead, as a result of Ismael Bennacer’s growing injury struggles, the youngster has had to play more for Milan.
As highlighted by Matteo Calcagni of MilanNews, the biggest drawback in the 2-2 draw against Red Star Belgrade was Bennacer’s injury. It’s been confirmed that he will miss the derby, but it remains to be seen for how long he will be out.
Last season, the Algerian was a given in the Rossoneri team, starting almost every game from October 2019 and onwards. It has been very different this campaign, though, with him forced to sit on the sidelines for a couple of months.
Considering just how well he did alongside Franck Kessie in the summer, it’s certainly a real shame. Having said that, the opportunity now falls to Tonali once again, who after a somewhat rough start has improved greatly as of late.
However, as opposed to the initial plan, the former Brescia man has inevitably become a starter for the team: 27 appearances across Serie A, the EL play-offs, Europa League and Coppa Italia. 18 of these were from start.
In the four games that Milan have lost this year, Tonali only played against Atalanta, the game in which the Rossoneri tried very hard. And last night, the youngster came on and gave an important hand to Soualiho Meite, improving the balance.
With Bennacer’s injury, he will have many more possibilities to show his qualities, starting with the derby on Sunday. Having said that, fans will have to go easy on him, as Tonali’s growth has been fast-tracked more than anyone could have imagined.