Today marks the first day of the new season for both us as a site and for AC Milan. 2022/23 was long and disappointing with a fourth place finish (with an asterisk), a Champions League semi-final exit to city rivals Inter Milan, a shocking round of 16 KO in the Coppa Italia against Torino and finally a painful loss in the Supercoppa Italiana against Inter 3-0.
The first images from Milanello aimed to show calmness amidst the huge news of Paolo Maldini’s departure alongside Ricky Massara in a technical area shake up. Giorgio Furlani (CEO), Geoffrey Moncada (Head Scout) and Antonio D’Ottavio (Sporting Director) appear front and centre as a couple of new signings were present at Milanello to meet Stefano Pioli and kick off the pre-season.
Milan have conducted some business with the arrivals of Marco Sportiello (GK) from Atalanta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CM) from Chelsea FC and Luka Romero (CM) from Lazio to move the mercato along. The major news, however, has been with the departures as Zlatan Ibrahimovic chose to retire and surprisingly Sandro Tonali was sold to Newcastle United out of the blue. Some fringe players such as Marco Brescianini and Daniel Maldini have already secured moves away.
As per Furlani’s media comments, the aim is to be competitive in Italy and Europe but Milan fans will want to win and challenge for the 20th Scudetto. The current rumours link us with a few odd signings such as Christian Pulisic from Chelsea despite his injury record and inconsistency, Mehdi Taremi from FC Porto despite his age and Tijjani Reijnders from AZ Alkmaar who is looking costlier by the day. The team should be competitive but this is a huge drop in experience and a loss of identity through the departures of players and management over the summer. Pioli has a crucial task to assimilate the group and get the Milan spirit instilled in the new arrivals to pull off another rout.