AC Milan began their preseason preparations at Milanello on Friday night with a 2-0 win over Novara.
Suso got the scoring underway with a sweetly struck free-kick, and Davide Calabria added a second just before half-time.
Who impressed for Gennaro Gattuso’s side? And who was disappointing in the Rossoneri’s first preseason runout?
1. Suso the free-kick wizard
We’ve seen it time and time again. Suso steps up on the edge of the box, a free-kick 20-25 yards out, and curls a ball over the wall and into the top right corner.
It wasn’t quite in the postage stamp this time, but when the Spaniard stood over the ball in the 23rd minute there was an air of inevitability about the situation. Sure enough he delivered, beating Elia Benedettini with a precise but delicate effort just to the right of the centre of goal.
— WAW Goals (@Waw_goals) July 20, 2018
Let’s see some more this season, Suso.
2. Locatelli gives Gattuso a headache
One player who really stood out for Milan during the victory was midfielder Manuel Locatelli. The Primavera product has been extensively linked with a San Siro exit this summer, but his performance will have given Gattuso second thoughts.
Loca was at the centre of the action; constantly dropping to receive the ball and distributing with effectiveness and most importantly precision. If there were doubts about his ability when being pressed, he seemed to answer those with a cool and composed performance.
A couple more showings like that, and he will absolutely be knocking on the door of Rino’s matchday squad again.
3. Bertolacci? Not so much
In many ways the match at Milanello was somewhat of an audition for Locatelli and another player linked with a summer exit: Andrea Bertolacci.
As already mentioned, the 20-year-old looked like the midfield general that the Rossoneri have lacked at times, while Bertolacci was sadly a passenger and failed to contribute much other than a few poor touches and sideways passes.
If there is truth in the rumours that Genoa are looking to tie up a permanent deal for their former midfielder, then Gattuso will have seen little to stand in the way of a deal.