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2017-18 AC Milan Season Preview: The Forwards

Milan’s firepower might not be top-tier, but it certainly has talent

AC Milan v KF Shkendija 79 - UEFA Europa League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: First Leg Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

The season is upon us and today we will finish ours eason preview series for the club. AC Milan are still in the market for a flagship striker, and could see some movement outbound and inbound within this area, however, don’t discount their firepower up front, their flair on the wings and the drive from attacking midfield.


PLAYERS SOLD: CARLOS BACCA (loan), GIANLUCA LAPADULA (loan)

PLAYERS PURCHASED: HAKAN CALHANOGLU, ANDRE SILVA, FABIO BORINI

PLAYERS CALLED UP: PATRICK CUTRONE


Andre Silva

AC Milan v KF Shkendija 79 - UEFA Europa League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: First Leg Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Until Milan find a flagship forward, it is very much the case that Andre Silva will lead the line for Milan, and he’s certainly up to the task. Hustle, determination and drive are all within Andre Silva’s game, but that’s not to mention his technique and flair. He’s a wonderkid by definition and the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo is mentoring him at an international level is a good sign.

Silva could score twenty goals a season for Milan, could it be this season? Maybe. However, Silva is a buy for the future, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have an impact today! Look for a bit of magic from the Portuguese youngster, but don’t be surprised to see a lot of hard work as well. He won’t wait around for goals, he’ll go out looking for them and he will make things happen across the pitch.

M’Baye Niang

AC Milan v CSU Craiova - UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round: Second Leg Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Niang hasn’t left Milan yet - and it looks almost likely that he will stay. He’s turned down every chance to move away from Milan and it doesn’t seem as though he is going anywere, with this latest move to Spartak Moscow seemingly falling through.

However, M’Baye Niang still has something to offer to Milan - even if it’s not the cash that we’d want from his sale. Niang is a speedy, resilient trickster who can play across the front for Milan. That in itself is a good sign, considering that the Rossoneri are in for a long season in Italy and across Europe. Niang isn’t the hardest worker, but he somehow pulls it off in the red and black and if he stays, that’s ok.

Suso

AC Milan v Real Betis Balompè - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Despite Milan’s splurge this summer, it’s still Suso that perhaps remains as the brightest spark within the team. He’s got a good work ethic and has stolen results for Milan throughout his time and is probably the one man, aside from Gianluigi Donnarumma, responsible for Milan’s presence in European competition this season. Milan’s team is now fully upgraded though, so the weight of the world should not be on Suso’s shoulders. That being said, without the pressure could Suso go missing? We’ll have to wait and see, but hopefully there is a lot more to come from this player. If we’ve reached his ceiling already, that would be a huge shame.

Patrick Cutrone

AC Milan v CSU Craiova - UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round: Second Leg Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

This writer, personally, is hoping that Patrick Cutrone stays put at Milan this season, despite loan interests from elsewhere. While there is a lot to be said for the benefits of a good loan spell, Patrick Cutrone certainly has a part to play at Milan this season - especially in the European campaign. With talent beyond his years, Cutrone has proved himself in pre-season with a number of crucial goals. What’s the point of all of this if he’s simply going to be shipped out on loan?

If Milan get rid of Niang, they need to keep Cutrone around the first team, so he can learn from the best and develop into the talent we all know he can be. Cutrone seems like the real deal.

Fabio Borini

AC Milan v KF Shkendija 79 - UEFA Europa League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: First Leg Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

If there was one word that summed up Milan’s move for Fabio Borini, it would be ‘what?’ closely followed by ‘why?’. It’s harsh, but true - Borini hasn’t really landed on his own feet after spells at Roma, Liverpool and Sunderland. He’s a gutsy, player, a real hard worker and he’s going to do it all for ninety minutes, but there are far, far more talented players out there than Borini. That’s why the move is so surprising.

To be fair to Fabio, he’s not really done too badly since arriving from Sunderland. He’s got a goal, he has worked hard and he’s a great depth player - he just doesn’t do much of note. It’s probably better than Carlos Bacca going AWOL for 70 minutes, but it’s not as good as the goals Bacca would find for Milan. There’s no expectations for Borini and hey, that might be an environment he thrives in. Milan have lacked for hard work up front in recent years and with Silva and Borini, they’ve got it in spades. Just expect the former, rather than the latter, to be the one leading the scoring charts.

Hakan Calhanoglu

AC Milan v Real Betis Balompè - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Hakan Calhanoglu is a tremendous addition to this Milan team for many reasons. For one, he’s a dictator on the ball and like a regista, will make plays from deep. He’ll tell people where to run and make goals happen for them. If he’s not doing that, he will be doing what he does best and that is slamming in unstoppable set-pieces. Very much like Suso, Hakan is a weapon for Milan. He’s also capable of the same type of magic as Suso.

What Hakan does best goes unnoticed. He’s found a new lease of life working under Vincenzo Montella! He will press and harass from the front and help Borini, Silva and Suso win balls in the final third. Calhanoglu is a special player, and now he’s at a special club! The perfect fit? We shall find out.


Here’s what you’ve missed so far:

Goalkeepers

Defenders

Midfield