In a very demanding season with a hectic fixture list, Stefano Pioli needs leaders within his squad that are capable of asserting themselves in the inevitable difficult moments.
La Gazzetta dello Sport writes how Milan will face Sampdoria on Saturday night and Dinamo Zagreb at San Siro on Wednesday in the Champions League, which follows the derby win last Saturday and the UCL draw with Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday night. Not only that, but Napoli visit on Sunday 18 too.
While Rade Krunic is injured and the new additions get to grips with Pioli’s demands, Sandro Tonali will be called upon to achieve the same consistency and decisiveness that he managed in the Scudetto-winning season. He has Milan in his heart and a renewal is imminent, which should provide a further boost.
Then there is Charles De Ketelaere who was the big-money summer signing and will play ahead of Tonali in the playmaker role more often than not. The Belgian is adapting to life at Milan well but still needs patience to build understanding and chemistry with his team-mates, but soon that faith must turn into end product.
Finally, Divock Origi must also show everyone why Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara moved so strongly to sign him from Liverpool on a free transfer. So far his cameos off the bench have been mixed, but if he can find form then it will leave Pioli feeling much better about resting and rotating Giroud.