In part 2 of our rating series, we will look at the AC Milan midfield and how they performed throughout the season. Note that players like Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic will be graded in the article grading the forwards, be on the lookout for that later this week!
Ismael Bennacer: Bennacer had an injury-riddled season and sadly that affected his form in a big way. To start the year Bennacer looks like his regular self as he was press resistant and orchestrating the midfield with ease. Then he was hit with injuries that kept him off the pitch for a long time. When he returned, he didn’t look the same and did seem a step behind. This year Bennacer regressed a bit but hopefully, he bounces back next season. 6/10 (light 6)
Franck Kessie: I don’t think I need to say much about Franck. He was the most consistent player all year and he was the only player that resisted the injury crisis. Franck has improved so much, especially in the past two seasons. 8/10
Rade Krunic: Now I don’t think many fans had high expectations for Krunic based on last year. I will say that Krunic got a bit better as the season went on but was still very impressive. He had some nice moments during the year, most notably the free-kick against Hellas Verona. Although some of the good moments were few and far between, he worked his butt off when he was on the pitch. 5.7/10
Soualiho Meite: Meite was brought in to reinforce the midfield and on paper, he seemed like a Kessie replacement. However, this wasn’t the case as he spent a lot of time playing alongside Kessie. Since arriving in Milan Meite didn’t impress me at all. Yes, he had some nice moments, but his overall body of work wasn’t that great. He made a lot of mistakes defensively and was at fault for multiple goals. 5.5/10
Sandro Tonali: I think a lot of fans thought that Tonali would hit the ground running and be a great backup right away. It took him a good amount of time to get comfortable with the team. Just as Tonali was starting to seem more comfortable he picked up injuries and since returning he didn’t see much of the surprising pitch. Tonali will surely need more time. 5.5/10
Alexis Saelemaekers: Now the stats for Saelemaekers don’t stand out but his work rate throughout the year was impressive. Alexis progressively got better during the year, and he was head and shoulders above Castillejo but that isn’t saying much I guess. I think the combination of Saelemaekers and Calabria locked down the right side for Milan.
Samu Castillejo: Samu was terrible this year, regressed in every single aspect of his game. I don’t think he had any good moments throughout the year aside from a few tap ins. 3/10
Hakan Calhanoglu: The stats for Hakan look fantastic as he has more than 20 goals contributions this year. However, if you ask many Milan fans, they would be shocked because of how bad he looks on the pitch. Hakan is the epitome of inconstancy as he could have an amazing match then 7 straight stinkers. Hakan didn’t pass my eye test all year and watching him is just so frustrating. 6/10
Brahim Diaz: Brahim got off to a nice start in Europa League for Milan but in Serie A he struggled and struggled for a long time. It wasn’t until the end of the season where he was given a chance from Pioli and took his chance well. Brahim played fairly well to end the season and he showed why Pioli entrusted him. 6/10
Jens Petter Hauge: Hauge got some good minutes when he first joined Milan and he was capitalizing on those minutes with consistent goals. Then there came a point in the season where he was left on the bench for every match. He then made an appearance against Sampdoria and scored. After that he went back to the bench to end the year. Not sure why Hauge sat for so long, but I believe he wasn’t fully ready for Serie A and Pioli wanted to rest him because he played so many matches for the Norwegian league. 5.7/10