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Who Are The Tops and Flops From AC Milan’s Pre Season Friendlies?

A good display for a number of new signings and the attack looks more potent than a few weeks ago.

Valencia v AC Milan - Club Friendly Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

AC Milan have wrapped up their pre season preparations consluding the European Summer Tour as well as some other friendlies last weekend. Milan played 6 matches over the course of a months. Milan won three games and drew the other three. Milan beat Pro Sesto 6-0, Moden 5-0 and Panathinaikos 2-1. Milan drew 1-1 with Nice, 0-0 with Valencia and 0-0 with Real Madrid. Here is a look at the tops and flops from the past month:

Flops

Ciprian Tatarusanu

What a howler in the previous game. Tatarusanu is not inspiring a lot of confidence heading into his second season at the club. Obviously we do not expect him to feature much regardless but it is nice to know that a reliable pair of hands is there if needed. The penalty he conceded against OGC Nice should’ve been saved and he underperformed in the shoot out against Valencia. Overall a pre season to forget for the Romanian veteran.

Samu Castillejo

These six games have shown how underwhelming his performances are and how he hampers Milan’s pace on the counter. The lack of creativity and the insistence on trying to dribble when he could pass is staggering. He managed to score a wild snap shot against Pro Sesto but it is telling that Pioli uses Alexis Saelemaekers - who is not a natural winger - in the position more than him.

Sandro Tonali

Ok, hear me out. Tonali is not a flop but rather more is expected from him. He is supposed to be one of the brightest talents in Italy and he will play a large role this season given the injury to Franck Kessie now and the impending AFCON pause for Kessie and Ismael Bennacer. He has been good but scrambled which will not fly in a competitive environment. Tonali van be great with his vision, physicality and passing but needs to turn up and grab hold of the opportunity he has this season.

Tops

Olivier Giroud

What an introduction by the player. He scored with his first touch coming off the bench against OGC Nice with a sublime header. He buried his penalty in the shoot out against Valencia. He scored a classy brace against Panathinaikos with a brilliant finish of a cross and a nodded header. He also completed a hat trick but was denied by the post. He brings pace, he can hold up the ball well, he plays in the wingers and overpowers defences. There is a lot to be excited about based on these performances.

Brahim Diaz

Diaz has shown growth in the latter stages of last season and this has proliferated over the summer. He looked dominant in the first two games of the pre season and then showed his ability to command the Milan attack in the Nice, Valencia and Madrid games. He is a threat with his long shots in that top right corner. His passing is breaking the lines and he is working to be stronger on the ball. He has made a case to be the starter for the season but let’s see if he can do the same in the league where defenders are rigid and overwhelming.

Mike Maignan

The post-Donnarumma era was never going to be easy but Maignan is making the most of his move and winning over fans with every touch. His passing has been fantastic with pinpoint releases to the wings. He reflexes and diving saves have been astounding already saving some sure goals. He stepped up and saved a penalty against Gareth Bale which brings confidence to himself and the squad. He constantly seems calm and composed, bringing an air of composure to the back which will be vital this season. A fantastic start from the keeper who has not conceded a goal from open play through the pre season.

Others

A number of players have shown the preparedness for the new season and have been solid with some partnerships emerging. Theo Hernandez and Davide Calabria doing well on the wings. Fikayo Tomori and Alessio Romagnoli showing good chemistry. Ismael Bennacer looks ready to bounce back following his injuries last season. Rafael Leao looks threatening down that left wing while Ante Rebic has shown some increased engagement further up the pitch.