Positions shifts and an opportunity for the youth: Dissecting Milan’s depth in latest injury crisis

By SempreMilan -

After the win against Napoli at the weekend, Milan will now have an easier run of games on paper, at least after the Europa League clash with Lille. However, due to injuries, it might not be as easy as first thought. 

The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rafael Leao and Alexis Saelemaekers are all out injured and will miss quite a few games, and with Milan competing in two competitions at the moment in has thrown a spanner in the works.

It might even mean that while plenty expect Milan to continue their excellent recent form there could be some good value in betting against them, and it could be wise to keep an eye on the odds which you can do with sites like Betcompare, who know the difference between the top betting sites and the ones that should be avoided.

Having to do without the former is obviously the biggest blow, especially since he’s so hard to replace. The Swede has scored ten goals in just six league games, which is absolutely stunning for even a world-class player.

There’s no doubt that Milan need to bring in a striker in January, or the very least in the summer, as Ibrahimovic simply can’t play every game at his age. Furthermore, it seems next season will be his last for the Rossoneri, so a new striker is needed.

As for the others, Stefano Pioli has more than one option for each, which is reassuring especially since Milan have struggled with depth over the years. Just like with the results, though, the situation has very much changed at the club.

Leao has started the season very well but inevitably, with the return of Ante Rebic, he was always going to have to fight for a starting spot. That being said, it would have been beneficial to have him available now that Ibra is injured.

Sure, Rebic can fill the void up front but he arguably isn’t as good in that position, hence why Pioli insists on playing him to the left. So, with the Croatian ‘forced’ to play as the striker it will open up a window of opportunity for Jens Petter Hauge.

The Norwegian arrived at the end of September and despite limited playing time, he has already bagged two impressive goals for the Rossoneri. With that in mind, therefore, the left-wing shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Furthermore, Milan can always play the young Lorenzo Colombo up front, thus allowing Rebic to start to the left. The youngster needs more experience to grow but the potential is certainly there. No doubt, this is a big opportunity for him too.

To the right, the most ‘natural’ replacement is Samu Castillejo but the Spaniard hasn’t been particularly good at the start of this season. Brahim Diaz is an option here too and can also play on the left.

We shouldn’t forget Hakan Calhanoglu either, who throughout his years at Milan have played on all both flanks, although his creativity is better suited for the CAM role. Point being, therefore, that the options are many.

There is always room for criticism, but in this situation, it’s just a matter of bad luck all the attacking injuries coming at once. Had Leao been available, for example, there wouldn’t have been any problems whatsoever.

The Rossoneri do have depth and now is a good time to show it, starting with the game against Lille. No one expects it to be easy, but saying the team has no doubt is simply wrong.

READ MORE: Speeches from various Milan players during inspection of Lille stadium – the probable XI

Tags AC Milan Alexis Saelemaekers Ante Rebic Brahim Diaz Hakan Calhanoglu Jens Petter Hauge Rafael Leao Samu Castillejo Zlatan Ibrahimovic