GdS: Pobega and Dest among left-back solutions if Theo cannot start vs. Salernitana

By Oliver Fisher -

Stefano Pioli is studying various solutions as he may not be able to call upon Theo Hernandez for the first game of 2023 against Salernitana, a report claims.

La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews), in the coming days Stefano Pioli will decide whether Theo Hernandez and Olivier Giroud are fit enough to start the game on January 4 in Salerno, given that will return to Milanello tomorrow after their post World Cup vacation.

If Theo were to be ruled only fit enough to start from the bench, then there are three alternatives lined up: Sergino Dest could move over from right-back, the Tommaso Pobega experiment could continue or the most natural replacement Fode Ballo-Touré could be selected.

Of course, the hope is that Theo has recovered enough in condition from his few days off after the World Cup in Qatar, in which he went all the way to the final with France before losing to Argentina.

Tags AC Milan Fode Ballo-Toure Salernitana Milan Sergino Dest theo hernandez


  1. It is criminal they way Maldini has handled the LB backup position over the last 4 years.
    Not being capable of signing a cheap veteran or someone on loan to play sporadically is just inexcusable.

    1. It’s the only reason Fode Ballo is in the squad. I don’t understand why he isn’t the obvious solution here. If the first choice LB is unavailable, the second choice LB plays. If that’s not the case, then he needs to be replaced. This seems very straightfoward. I know the media and fans need things to discuss in the downtime between games, but this one doesn’t make much sense to me.

      1. It’s pretty simple.
        Ballo Toure is so bad that Pioli would not only play a RB on the left side but he would also rather play a central midfielder instead of what he has been provided by his management as LB depth

    2. I guess any “cheap veteran or someone on loan” that is any better than Ballo-Toure is not actually that cheap, otherwise they would be there. Can’t have your cake and eat it too. Florenzi is costing us 3m per year, some say that is expensive, but then a backup RB that would cost 500k per year will be as bad as Ballo-Toure, won’t get played and then people will complain. It’s a fine balancing act.

      1. Theo hasn’t had a backup since Ricardo Rodriguez got loaned out in January of Theo’s first season.
        Since then, Pioli had to use a right back whenever Theo was unavailable. Be that Dalot, or Florenzi, Kalulu and now Dest and Pobega.
        Not only Maldini signed a bad player like Ballo Toure but he isn’t even capable to sell him so he can sign another left back.
        We have 5 players that play or have played RB in their careers, but literally only 1 left back.
        BTW our backup right backs Florenzi and Dest combined make 7 mil a year.
        Florenzi was one of the worst signings. Roma didn’t get rid of him for no reason. He makes a lot of money and he is always injured.
        Maldini had no problem spending 3.8 mil on a back up right back once Florenzi got injured again, even though they had Kalulu, Saelemakers and even Thiaw, but it’s a problem to loan someone in to be a Theo back up.
        There isn’t even a B from Balancing act

  2. Add Ballo-Toure to the list of players that Maldini spent money on that can’t even get on the pitch even when there are injuries. Bakayoko, Adli, Vrankx, Thiaw. Pobega is not an option at LB, he’s not even a good option at MF. Add in the terrible CDK and Origi signings, the fact that we haven’t had a real starting quality RW in years, they let their some of their best talent leave for free( Kessie, Calhanaglu, Donnarumma ) and you start to realize that Maldini is over his head here. The overall strength of the squad has gotten weaker each of the last 2 years. There is no quality depth anywhere on this team and if you think they are going to improve that over the winter then you haven’t been paying attention to this team the last 3 years.

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