AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has heaped praise on three of his central midfield options, namely Sandro Tonali, Rade Krunic and Ismael Bennacer.
Pioli spoke to the journalists who gathered at the Milanello press conference room to answer their questions ahead of tomorrow night’s game, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.
He was first asked about Rade Krunic, a player who has been repeatedly linked with an exit over the summer given the fact that he seems to be down the pecking order. However, he made a start during the first league game of the season due to Bennacer’s condition.
“I believe that this year we need a lot of starters, at the end of the transfer market I will have a lot of starters available. We have to raise the level in everything. Krunic is a Milan player, very intelligent, he knows how to occupy the areas well and participates in both phases. I will make choices match by match, the boys will have to be good at being ready.”
One of the most long and drawn-out sagas of the summer was the one which saw Sandro Tonali eventually join on a permanent deal from Brescia, with the Rossoneri negotiating a more advantageous deal after a first season of struggles.
“Wanting Milan at all costs means being proud to defend the colours we wear every day, we feel this pleasure and this responsibility, we want to take these colours as high as possible.
“It is important that he wanted to stay with us, he has everything to be a complete player, an all-rounder. His growth has been constant and there have also been difficult passages as is normal. Now he is more ready, more lucid and who takes on more responsibility. He’s a complete midfielder.”
Finally, Pioli was also asked about Ismael Bennacer, who came off the bench in the second half of Monday’s win over Sampdoria as he was suffering from the effects of recovering from Covid and was therefore not fit enough to start.
“His condition has improved, he is ready to play from the start, then we will see what choices I make. We must expect important performances, he has everything: defensive phase and construction. Player of great quality.”