AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has downplayed the magnitude of choosing to play Fikayo Tomori over captain Alessio Romagnoli in the win over Roma.
Pioli chose to give Romagnoli a break and to put Tomori in, a defender who arrived in January on loan with option to buy from Chelsea. The Englishman repaid the trust of his coach with a a very solid performance, and that now prompts a new dilemma.
The media have documented well how keeping Romagnoli out of the starting XI was not at all easy because of the strong message it sends, but now it will be even more complicated to give him a permanent position given Tomori’s performance. In the coming weeks Milan will play every three days and therefore Pioli will have to be good at rotating his players so as to always have fresh legs on the pitch.
Pioli spoke to the media at Milanello on the eve of the game, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews, and he was asked about the decision to leave out the captain.
A reporter asked him: “Will Romagnoli stay out of the line-up tomorrow?”
Pioli responded: “The matches are all important, but also different. For me it is fortunate to have a great choice. Only tomorrow morning we will try the starting line-up. I will choose who is better off. We have a good victory, now we have to give continuity to our results.”
The follow-up question arrived: “How is Romagnoli doing?”
Pioli’s response hints that Romagnoli did not take it too well: “Only you talk about failures, for me they are simple choices. I talked to him. You can not always have the same ideas, but the important thing is respect.”