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Who Should Be AC Milan’s New Captain?

Following the departure of the failed experiment in appointing Leonardo Bonucci as captain, Milan is in need of a new leader...

Juventus v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

In hindsight, Bonucci’s reign as captain felt more akin to an affair than a long term marriage. It was exciting at first but the relationship was one that was not built on commitment or real love.

Bonucci was disgruntled with Allegri and saw Milan as the perfect escape. Having been starved of a prolific star for many a season, the fans lapped it up.

Bonucci was a proven champion and without query or complain was given the armband. Ex player and the then team manager, Christian Abbiati, spoke to Mediaset of Bonucci’s appointment saying, “Leo has got the right personality and experience to wear it. This is how the club have decided - they wanted to make one of the new arrivals captain.”

Then the issues began to arrive.

Under Montella, the centre back floundered on the field. Bonucci was became a joke among the football world, many calling the defender an outright flop. Gattusso came in and steadied the ship, taking much of the weight of expectation off the beleaguered defender’s shoulders. Bonucci was back to his old self again. But his heart was no longer in Milan. It was never meant to be. The affair was all but over. And as quickly as he came, Bonucci made his way out of the club and back to Turin, tail tucked firmly between each leg.

The biggest lesson that should be learnt from this entire debacle is that Milan needs to appoint someone who would be fully committed to this rebooted version of AC Milan. Additionally, as is the case for any captain of the modern game, qualities such as natural leadership, experience, consistency and quality on the pitch are vital.

With these traits in mind, the following players are the front runners for the armband

AC Milan v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Alessio Romagnoli

Despite being a footballing babe at 23 years of age, Romagnoli has proven himself a pillar in defense for the Rossoneri. Romagnoli was a stalwart last season, eclipsing Bonucci himself as a calming presence at the back.

The former Roma youth prospect has often been likened to Milan’s previous #13, the great Nesta, and with good reason.

Romagnoli has also shown his loyalty to the badge since joining in 2015, fending off previous moves by Chelsea and PSG for his signature.

However, with youth comes inexperience and that drops Romagnoli’s overall grade a few pegs. However, if he remains loyal to the club Romagnoli can without doubt grow to become a great leader for Milan.

Loyalty – A

Experience – C+

Leadership – B

Quality – A

Consistency – A

Overall Grade – A

Genoa CFC v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

Giacomo Bonaventura

Beloved by fans, “Jack” has proven himself to be a shining light during the dark years at Milan.

The irony of it all was that Bonaventura was never even meant to be a Milan player. The former Atalanta man was a last minute signing for the failed acquisition of Biabiany for a mere €7. Since then Bonaventura has proven himself to the fans. Many have clamored for Jack to be given the captaincy over Montolivo and with Monty on his way out that dream can finally happen.

The biggest issue Bonaventura faces is that he does not seem to fit into the role of a leader quite that well. As a hardworking, versatile midfielder he excels but he does not have the air of command a midfield general should have.

Bonaventura’s loyalty to Milan is without question though. The nimble midfielder has often said it was his dream to play for Milan and despite constant requests for his services at Juventus, Bonaventura has stuck with Rossoneri.

At 28 years of age, this would be the perfect time for him to be rewarded with the captaincy.

Loyalty – A

Experience – B+

Leadership – C+

Quality – B+

Consistency – B

Overall Grade – B+

AC Milan v Atalanta BC - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Ignazio Abate

By default, the captaincy should go to Abate. He is the longest serving member of the squad, having been at Milan close to a decade.

The downside is, as we all know, Abate is the past. Calabria and a return of Conti would mean Abate should be a bit part player rather than a regular starter. Also, he is not a long term solution with the right back turning 32 in November.

However, Abate always seems to feature every season for Milan in one way or another and if he ends up becoming the starter Abate has a shout for the armband for at least one season. Realistically though, Abate deserves a vice-captaincy role rather than a first choice appointment.

Loyalty – A+

Experience – A

Leadership – B

Quality – C+

Consistency – B

Overall Grade – B

AS Roma v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Lucas Biglia

If Biglia were to be appointed captain that would most certainly be a Bonucci 2.0 situation. There is no doubt the former Lazio captain has leadership and experience under his belt but he has worn the red and black for only one season. Biglia’s also getting up in age so there is no way he could be a long term prospect for Milan.

Biglia is still a quality player though, and if he impresses Gattuso as a strong figure in the squad who knows, he might be given the armband?

Loyalty – D

Experience – A

Leadership – A+

Quality – B

Consistency – B

Overall Grade – C+

AC Milan v AC Chievo Verona - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images


Ok hear me out. Suso seems really out of place as a prospective captain but in a weird way it can kind of make sense. He’s been at the club for the same length of time as Romagnoli and Bonaventura. He’s also rejected offers from other clubs and has stuck with the side, even enduring a lean spell at Genoa. He’s a quality player who can influence a match. At 24 he’s still young and has a bright future ahead of him. And he’s also very much at the forefront at press conferences, being a good representative to the team.

So why not include the Spaniard as a potential captain? I suppose it just doesn’t feel right.

In an interview following Bonucci’s exit from the team, Suso himself said that the loss of the defender meant a loss in “leadership and experience”. Like Bonaventura, Suso does not seem to fit the leadership role. But who knows, maybe a heartfelt talk with Gattuso or Maldini could make him a true leader?

I doubt it though. Plus being Spanish doesn’t help his cause.

Loyalty – C+

Experience – B

Leadership – C

Quality – B+

Consistency – B

Overall Grade – C

So, who do you think should be given the chance to wear the captain’s armband? Cast your vote below


Who should be AC Milan’s captain for 2018/19?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    (418 votes)
  • 14%
    (78 votes)
  • 5%
    (29 votes)
  • 1%
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    (13 votes)
556 votes total Vote Now