GdS: Pioli ready to repeat Kessie experiment against Napoli – the strategy

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli is not ready to give up on the Franck Kessie playmaker experiment just yet and may try it again on Sunday against Napoli, a report claims.

La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews) reports that the Rossoneri head coach could field Kessie in the role attacking midfielder once again in the game at the Stadio Diego Maradona. The move worked well in Empoli in the last game of 2021, but was not as effective in last month’s 2-1 derby win.

Brahim Diaz is struggling for form at the moment and can be a passenger in games while Rade Krunic started as the No.10 in the midweek derby but failed to do much. A big game like the one against Napoli requires decisive and courageous choices, and the idea is that the Ivorian could limit the impact of Fabian Ruiz, the main pivot of Spalletti’s midfield.

Ismael Bennacer and Sandro Tonali are in good form and therefore benching either seems tough at the current moment, so fielding a more solid and robust side against a tough opponent is tempting to Pioli.

Tags AC Milan Franck Kessie Napoli-Milan


    1. Well Diaz is definately not living up to it lately, krunic is a no, saele jas no end product, yet, so who would you field?…and who said it didn’t work vs inter? The introduction of Diaz totally changed the game after inter were accustomed to a slow, lumbering kessie

  1. So struggling to keep up with Inter while Kessie was on the pitch and getting lucky when Brahim replaced him is the the basis of the hypothesis that Kessie in a No.10 role works? You just said yourself that he was slow and lumbering lol.

    And yes, Brahim, Krunic, Messias, Rebic, Saladmaker, Pioli’s left testicle, sack of potatoes, pile of horse excrement etc. are all a better options as NO.10 than Kessie.

  2. It’s a tough spot — Pioli just doesn’t have good options for the 10/CAM. I expected more from Krunic offensively. He has earlier in the season show ability to make some clever passes/flicks with his head and feet; but his passing was terrible v Inter unfortunately (though his defending/positioning was of course good).
    Given how poorly Krunic played offensively and that Kessie actually has been playing better in possession (the Coppa semi was maybe his best game this year?), I guess I can understand why Pioli may be thinking to give him another try at the 10 because the other options are just so bad. And of course, as this article mentions, after the way Bennacer just played fantastic, it’s hard to take him off the pitch (and of course we want Tonali on the field). If it doesn’t work again, then we can sub in Diaz or Krunic in 2nd half… but hopefully Kessie is continuing to round into better form.

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