The 2019-20 season is just around the corner for Milan as we get ready to go through an emotional rollercoaster all over again.
It was a season of nearly but not quite for the Rossoneri in 2018-19, as the team were knocked out of the Europa League in the final group game, lost in the Coppa Italia semi-final and missed out on top four qualification on the final day of the season.
Will the lads go one better this season under Marco Giampaolo? Our writers have had their say…
Where will Milan finish this season?
Oli: Perhaps this is pure and blind optimism, but I really feel like this is the season that we finally secure a return to the top four. I like the first impressions of the coach and the new signings, with more maybe to come, plus I have doubts over whether Roma, Lazio and Atalanta all have the legs to make it into the top four this time round. I do, however, think Inter, Napoli and Juventus are ahead of us at this point.
Madison: Milan to finish in third place, four points above fourth spot.
Fred: I’d say third place.
Isak: Definitely hard to predict because you simply never know. Last season exceeded our realistic expectations, even though it felt like a failure in the end. As always, though, I’ll keep my hopes up for a top-four finish.
Maxi: Fourth place.
How far will we get in the Coppa Italia?
Oli: Always a difficult one to call as last season proved, but with no European competition to consider this season, the Rossoneri are primed for another run. I’ll be bold and say we get to the final, but lose.
Madison: The semi-finals.
Fred: We will have more rest than other big teams in the league but we might meet Juve before the final so I’d say semi-final at least.
Isak: We should expect us to get to the semi-final at least. Then, we will most likely face Juventus and given our history against them in the Coppa, and frankly in any competition, I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t get to the final.
Anthony: Reach the semi-finals and lose to Juventus (again).
Who will be the top scorer?
Oli: I do have doubts about Krzysztof Piatek and his form as of late, but I think with the help of Rafael Leao and/or Angel Correa up top with him, he’ll score 15-20 in the league and take the crown.
Madison: Piatek will be both top scorer for Milan and the Capocannoniere winner.
Isak: Hard to argue with Piatek. Even though he might score less than last season, I can’t imagine that he will be outscored.
Maxi: Piatek. With Leao and Suso’s added support, and possibly Correa, I think he’ll get even better than last season and break the number nine ”curse”.
Anthony: Piatek will be the top scorer for both Milan and in the whole of Serie A.
Ivan: While we are still not sure if Correa will be our player, it looks to me like Leao might be a very pleasing surprise. And with the creative players behind him – Suso, Paqueta and Bonaventura – combined with his strength, speed and length, Leao might be Milan’s top scorer.
Who will have most assists?
Oli: Partly for the reasons mentioned above, I like the idea of Suso feeding a deadly front two and racking up double figures in assists from trequartista.
Madison: Bonaventura will get the most assists (double digits).
Isak: Most likely Suso. If he continues his pre-season form, he should have no issues helping out the strikers.
Maxi: Suso. His impact from the trequartista role throughout pre-season has been staggering. A threat from anyhwere around the box, incredible crossing and at breaking the lines of the opposition.
Ivan: It looks like Suso will stay, but he will face competition in the trequartista role in the shape of Bonaventura and potentially Paqueta. Taking Suso’s struggles to maintain form throughout the season into account, I would go with Paqueta for most assists.
Who will make the biggest impact?
Oli: I’m torn between Ismael Bennacer and Rafael Leao. I think the latter will produce more ‘wow’ moments, but Bennacer playing such an important role leaves me inclined to think he will very quickly become a key cog in Giampaolo’s machine.
Madison: Rafael Leao.
Isak: Once he gets going, I think Bennacer will be a really good addition to this team. Biglia hasn’t got the same speed as he used to, so could be nice with some fresh legs.
Maxi: Suso again. I think he’ll take his impact up not just one, but two levels if he gets to continue as the trequartista.
Ivan: From the news signings – Bennacer. He looks good on the ball both defensively and offensively and fits Giampaolo’s system very well. His ability to move the ball fast, cutting defences apart, will be key for Milan but also his defensive contribution.
From the old players, it’s tough to decide as we have a lot of youngsters constantly improving but again I’ll go for Paqueta, as he is arguably the most skilful player in the team and can make an impact all over the field.
Who will be the biggest disappointment?
Oli: Always a very hard one to call as it could be either a new signing who fails to adjust or an existing player who gets left behind. I’ll say Bonaventura – no doubt a skilled player but after such a long lay-off the expectations upon him from fans already too high.
Madison: Ismael Bennacer. He is coming into the season off of winning the African Cup of Nations and being awarded the Player of the Tournament. Milan fans will be expecting a superhero and they will be disappointed. He will need time to acclimatise to having the responsibilities of playing for one of the most famous clubs in the world. I don’t think he will be able to live up to the pressure in his first season.
Fred: Hopefully nobody! But if I had to choose someone, I’d say Musacchio.
Isak: Many are saying Piatek, but I’ll place my money on Paqueta. Not saying he won’t be good for the team, but sometimes he lacks awareness in his decision-making.
Maxi: Musacchio. Have looked shaky not just throughout pre-season, but also last season as well. Duarte might take time too, given he doesn’t speak the language and needs to learn the league, system. But my answer is Musacchio.
Ivan: In order to be a disappointment, you first need to have a hype. Piatek is arguably Milan’s first choice. However, in the pre-season, Piatek hardly produced a good moment and he doesn’t look like a player who will score at least 20 goals at this stage.