CM: Tactical change and renewal uncertainty – Leao’s drought becomes a ‘crisis’

By Oliver Fisher -

It has not been the best of starts to 2023 for Rafael Leao as he continues to struggle to be decisive right when AC Milan need him most.

As report, it is exactly two months since Leao’s last league goal against Lecce at the Stadio Via del Mare which means the Portuguese forward is experiencing one of the most difficult moments since his arrival at the club.

Several factors are affecting what can now be described as a ‘crisis’ which culminated in the bad performance offered against Salernitana during which he gave the ball away nearly every time he got it.

Firstly there is Stefano Pioli’s decision to change formation and tactical approach which sees Leao playing narrower, something that doesn’t provide the same situations for the former Lille man to exploit as he can out wide with space and one-on-ones against defenders.

Leao has never been a glowing example of consistent performances even if last season he took a big step forward, and his unresolved contractual situation might be the other thing on his mind.

The fine to be paid to Sporting CP remains a significant problem especially if a renewal has not arrived despite a long and laborious negotiation already. He certainly has the talent and ability to become a world class player, but a change in gear is needed.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao


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  1. one thing is certain, he wants to leave the san siro, he doesn’t want to renew his contract at Milan, it’s better to just sell him to high paying enthusiasts.

    1. I think lauriente is the perfect replacement. Cost less. Complains less. Performs more. Allows the extra money from sale for a striker. It’s clear as day. Until management sees these comments I won’t stop

      1. I think milan needs to figure out how to get CDK performing then build the team around him. Maybe the ol 4312 would suit him. Will definitly need a very good ST tho.. They still have 3 months to scout targets.

  2. Leao would be better playing CF than as a second striker. I’d rather he play there, where his laziness is easier to cover up and a ball over the top gives him a good run a goal so that he can use his main asset, speed. Then we can bring Giroud on for the last half hour.
    This tactical change has made us more difficult to score against but easier to contain. Let’s face it, when was the last time we were excited during a game? It’s the same plan week after week and it’s boring… lets see something different from Pioli, some tactical nous, some in-game decision making to change a game. Quite frankly bringing on Ibra and Origo was a joke…

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