AC Milan clashed with Dortmund in China as the ICC got underway for the Rossoneri, and it was interesting to say the least. Here are 5 things we learned.
1. Milan’s new signings came to play
With the exception of Borini (who is still a head scratcher), Milan had good showings from the likes of Rodriguez, Musacchio, and especially from Kessie and Calhanoglu. The new guys are abundant with tenacity and energy and it should be exciting to see how they play from here.
2. Jose Mauri is poised for a bigger role
There were concerns over play time for the youngster but he certainly played well against Lugano and had a decent showing against Dortmund today as well. He was enigmatic while looking to create chances and while it will be tough to break into a midfield with Kessie, Locatelli, Calhanoglu, Bonaventua, and Biglia (one could feasibly go on the wing) perhaps Montella should give the lad a chance.
3. Cutrone isn’t there yet, but he’s showing signs
Barring a poorly taken breakaway finish right at Dortmund’s keeper, Cutrone showed the aggression and tenacity that you’d expect from an Italian product. He’d done enough throughout the second half to earn himself a goal, but squandered his chance and when the ball bounced back to him, Subotic put in a tackle that was surely a penalty but nothing came of it.
4. Milan is far from a finished product
The blend of new guys into a team that hasn’t seen quality in years was nice, but they were the only ones who looked like they knew how to play, and most the players who have been around just bothered not to show. Niang looked abysmal as always and Jack was really the best of the bunch (surprise). Sure Bacca got on the score sheet, but he got lucky the ball wasn’t taken from him and got a nice bounce his way. Sosa was okay at times but wholly inconsistent. This is something that will be a problem for Montella going in as chemistry and cohesion between players is key. It remains to be seen how the manager will do.
5. Calhanoglu can play the wing
Calhanoglu was absolute class upon coming in. He created chances left and right and was the bright spark for the red and blacks. He appeared to be playing a LCM role that operated more on the wing. There’s been talks of getting another winger, but if it doesn’t happen I wouldn’t be too worried as it seems Calhanoglu can work comfortably out there, though he’s preferred at CAM.