Alright folks, due to a tactical misread by your boy (me) I wasn’t even able to watch the AC Milan v Benfica game, so this is going to get REALLY interesting. Let’s dive right in to opinions I’ve formed based on second-hand knowledge I gathered from Twitter, shall we?
What did you guys think of Suso behind the strikers vs Benfica? Personally, I did not enjoy seeing him drifting out wide. Did not play as a true CAM. Needs to play balls up the middle more.— EddieMilanista (@lorddoubledee) July 29, 2019
Suso is the most one-dimensional player in the world.
Since before Marco Giampaolo even officially arrived at Milanello, the word on the street was that he wanted to try out Suso as the trequartista in his midfield diamond system. The idea was met with a healthy dose of initial skepticism from Milan Internet - while no doubt a talented player, Suso is defined by his inability to do pretty much anything other than cut in and shoot with his left foot. He’s a fine enough passer, but not exactly the prototypical attacking midfielder.
That skepticism appears to have been validated, at least at first glance. The chatter I saw on the timeline was that Suso just didn’t appear up to the creative task, and the rumor mill even got in on the action: pretty much immediately following the game, talk picked up that Milan are more than willing to sell Suso for the right offer. There’s no doubt that Suso is still a talented player and can provide positive value, but it appears that he doesn’t have a role in the new system of Giampaolo.
Piatek will win capocannoniere this season.
After coming over in January, Krzysztof Piatek, a man with way too many consonants in his name, finished the season as Milan’s leading scorer. It’s worth mentioning that this is the portion of the season in which Gennaro Gattuso’s defensive structure really took hold, and Milan didn’t seem particularly keen on attacking if they didn’t absolutely have to. It also bears repeating that Piatek did that in half of a season.
I’ve talked a lot about Giampaolo’s system, and a good amount of ink has been used on this site breaking it down - but the elevator pitch is “attacking football.” Maybe this is a bit contingent on making sure the midfield is filled out correctly, but a cohesive attacking gameplan? Two strikers, including a traditional support striker that can handle the ball inside the box? Unleashing the attacking tendencies of Davide Calabria and Theo Hernandez? Piatek is going to score 45 goals at minimum.
Juventus selling Moise Kean and Milan selling Patrick Cutrone is symbolic of modern clubs, bin off your own promising young players who get the club, will work harder than anyone and the fans are behind, for expensive imports who often disappoint. #TrustYourOwn— Alex McGovern (@AlexMcGovern11) July 30, 2019
Milan are going to regret selling Patrick Cutrone.
At the end of last season when Ivan Gazidis officially took over, he made clear to both Leonardo and Paolo Maldini the direction that New Milan needs to take - one in which young, promising players are granted the room to grow and flourish at the club, one in which club and player once again give themselves for the benefit of the other.
Milan have sold Patrick Cutrone to Wolverhampton, the 21 year-old striker that is a product of the Milan youth system. This is happening ostensibly because the club are close to signing Rafael Leão, the 20 year old Portuguese striker who, it seems, has a much higher potential than Cutrone. But to boil it down to skill level would be missing the point.
Cutrone is a player that has known no club but Milan. He’s a player that very obviously clawed and fought for every second of playing time he’s seen, and one that has never been able to hide his emotions regarding how he feels about this club. If Milan want to truly reestablish themselves as a giant of Europe, I believe they would be smart not to discard this type of connection.
Follow Andy on Twitter at @avolosk.