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Friday July 26 2019
A fresh start for Milan

Marco Giampaolo’s new Milan revolves around the midfield, so Steven K Moore considers the revamped Rossoneri.

Despite securing their highest Serie A finish in six years, Milan were expecting more. Anything less than a top four finish would be considered a failure, so missing out to Atalanta felt even worse.

Gennaro Gattuso is gone and Marco Giampaolo has been drafted in to create a new-look Diavolo, one in the image of its Coach. Gone is the focus on determination, grit and grinding out results, in comes an eye for quality, style and practiced passing channels.

Known for his 4-3-1-2 formation, the 51-year-old likes a quick but efficient counter style of play. This stems from his team adapting to a diamond 4-4-2 formation whilst defending. There are always three players who remain high up the field by the half-way mark, but thanks to the three holding defensive midfielders that stay compressed, they can win the ball back and get players forward. This catches their opposition off-guard as they easily break through the lines by being in open space and having at least two options at all times.

In his time at Sampdoria, Giampaolo has seen the success of his work arrive as a result of establishing a hard-working and interconnected squad. Starting with a strong defensive core, he utilises vigorous midfielders - as capable of setting up an attack as defending their goal - to dominate the middle of the park, while deploying an attacking trio who can all work off each other and find the back of the net. This is why Giampaolo’s arrival at Milan is one to look forward to – he has the ideal foundations waiting for him.

Trimming the squad by removing several players deemed surplus for their future project, the club has acquired Theo Hernandez (21) for the left flank, Rade Krunic (25) to reinforce the middle of the park and recent Africa Cup of Nations winner (and best young player and overall player of the tournament) Ismael Bennacer (21).

Although an overhaul of the squad has had a detrimental impact on the club in the past, they are investing in experienced youth who have already proven their worth. It makes it even more justifiable to sign these three players when you consider why they are being acquired: it is for the departments that actually need to be reinforced to make Giampaolo’s tactics come to life. This is why Milanisti should be feeling even more positive about their team’s off-season endeavours to date.

In a best-case scenario, we will see Milan line up with Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal, Andrea Conti, Mateo Musacchio (or his replacement), Alessio Romagnoli and Theo Hernandez making up the back-line. The middle three comprises Franck Kessie, Bennacer and Lucas Paqueta, with Suso in a trequartista role; and finally, Correa and Krzysztof Piatek as the two strikers.

Looking to the bench, they’ll have Mattia Caldara as depth for the centre-back roles, Ivan Strinic, Ricardo Rodriguez and Diego Laxalt for the left flank, Davide Calabria for the right. Giampaolo can choose from Jack Bonaventura, Hakan Calhanoglu, Krunic and even the versatile Fabio Borini for the midfield, with Samu Castillejo and Patrick Cutrone for the attacking unit.

What would be a creative yet stable side, as they continue to try and reach the highs of their past, Milan can only hope that this group will be suitable for Giampaolo as the players challenge each other to thrive and take their chances in this fresh start.

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Have your say...
Cutro is the ideal player for a 2 CF setup; maybe not to start even, but as a back-up or differnt option? Yes.
Did y'all see the emotional messages of Calabria and teammates? These players that grew up in the club are what every team dreams for yet Milan throws them away again and again to buy average players and almost never workout.
I hope Leao works out but sacrificing Cutro was not necessary.
on the 31st July, 2019 at 6:13pm
I can't fathom anyone defending the outright selling of Cutro for a mere 20m. Not even loaned, but sold. He was pushed out the door for $$$ so we could spend it on average players.
What happened to the youth project and lowering cost? The guy only made 1m/year.
Cutro is the type of player that gives a team it's identity. How many times have we seen his movement and work-rate, especially, paired with another CF, cause chaos in opposition defences? 1/2
on the 31st July, 2019 at 6:07pm
@Heldian;

Quell the uninformed comments. Suso came up as a trequarista, and that was his perceived role at Liverpool before he left. He plays wide the same way Ronaldinho played wide, which is not as a WIDE player. See Ronaldinho coming up, at PSG, 2002 World Cup and a lot his first year at Barcelona.

40million for Suso is the equivalent of 0.

Paqueta needs to be in one of the CM roles. He's a CM/AM, which is the DEFINITION of the more advanced of the two "wide" roles in a diamond.
on the 31st July, 2019 at 6:02pm
Ultimately the issue with Cutrone is that he is a player who would die for milan and I and many others are disappointed that he is leaving as those like chala, silva who couldnt care less are staying. Is he going to be world class, no, its a logical but heartless decision from the club unlike the Kean situation at Juve which is illogical and heartless as he has the potential to be world class and worth 70-100 mil easy in a few seasons. Cutrone will do well at wolves im sure 10-14 goals this yr
on the 31st July, 2019 at 2:39pm
I agree with you to an extent @Darko Boshevski, I presume the serious limitations you are talking about are primarily his pace and technical ability, both are natural to a player or not as the case may be, but it wasn't that long ago that a certain super pippo with exactly the same limitations was keeping us winning with crucial goals, I just think cutrone could have been a strong squad player with the added bonus of having the milan DNA in him as a positive changing room influence.
on the 31st July, 2019 at 8:21am
If we will play with trequatista, it MUST be Paqueta. Hakan can be rotation option for this role. Sell Suso for 40mil as he is not suitable for 4312. Use the money to bring CM to strengthen the 3 midfield position. And finally, sad to see Cutrone gone, would rather A. Silva sold instead of him. But what do I know, I only play football manager.
on the 31st July, 2019 at 8:14am
@Spirit_Willy;

A hard-working AM is the ideal fit as one of the two CM's in a diamond, which is what Milan are looking to play.


Seedorf? Same thing.
on the 31st July, 2019 at 4:23am
I am perhaps the only one in this forum not crying over Cutrone leaving Milan. While Cutrone has the grit and passion in him, he is also a player with some serious limitations. With those limitations he will never become top notch striker...period. Milan are right to sell him. The days of nostalgia and emotions in football are gone. Unfortunately, passion and grit aren't enough, otherwise Gattuso would have succeeded as a coach.Same with Cutrone, he works hard but he lacks talent for top striker
on the 31st July, 2019 at 3:50am
Goodbye cutrone, you deserved better from the team that runs through your veins, your departure in one way reminds me of another unfulfilled youth player in Auba, who also didn't'make the grade', im glad maldini and boban are back but this is a major error, cutrone would bleed for the cause, silva wouldnt blow his nose for it, departures to raise cash should have been, silva, calagnoglu, laxalt, borini, possibly suso, not a product of what we should be proud to be, feels wrong, forza milan!!
on the 30th July, 2019 at 8:52pm
I also feel sad that Cutrone, another good Milan youth product, is being sold. But aside from being Paitek's backup (which is my main issue with the sale), what active role would he have had? "Grit" and "passion" are great qualities by we need a seconda punta to complement Piatek, not a poacher. Contemporary football doesn't allow for two strikers hanging around up-field waiting to receive a ball. At least one, if not both, need to track back and help with ball recovery and build-up play.
on the 30th July, 2019 at 7:15pm
It is all cosmetics as far as i'm concern. I luv the fact we have Boban and Maldini back but, then why should will sell Cutrone for Correa?
You made mention about a sound technical striker to partner Piatek, so Correa is better than Cutrone?
For heaven sake, Cutrone proved he had the Milan DNA inside him and we saw his performance for us last season. How on earth will you sell that guy for a Correa that has failed to sparkle in La Liga with Atletico? And you expect this guy to outdo Cutrone?
on the 30th July, 2019 at 5:58pm
Milan are in danger before passing the danger line completely. I can see that they trying to make milan; milan again. Cutrone selling is looks bad in one eye but milan is about not only having inzaghi, gilardino but shining in world stage also. Paqueta is that one example but again milan in mistake. Tell me what quality make you think ben nacer is a dm and paqueta a cm?! former is a finest cm and the latter a hard working attacking midfielder. So put paqueta in the hole otherwise its a jeopardy.
on the 30th July, 2019 at 11:00am
Suso in the #10 with Castilejjo off Piatek...what's the issue?

Also, why are people talking about Caldara like he's ever played a game for AC Milan? Musacchio is a terrific defender and Caldara is going into his second season as everyone's starter.

Get a grip guys.
on the 30th July, 2019 at 12:10am
Theo Hernandez is solid for left back. Conti has to push on this year at rb. Caldara and Rom center are reliable (hopefully). I like the mid 3, Bennacer, Kessi, Paqueta. Piatek up front should do well. But the number 10 role worries me. No current player can fill that role. I am unsure if Correa will fit no.10 role but maybe Maldini knows something we dont. Leao has potential. Right now I would settle for improved performances and Top 4 finish. Cutrone had to go, great back up but lacked pace
on the 29th July, 2019 at 7:20pm
@Diavolo @Microslav

LOL my bad dudes, I thought they're the same Correas. Cheers !
on the 29th July, 2019 at 10:53am
A fresh start for provincial club from Milan.
on the 29th July, 2019 at 6:37am
Watching today's game (the score is irrelevant) there is a LOT to be positive about going forward.

But the writer is off. Rodriguez (who is great) was there today and he was damn good. Calabria played at RB (tho Conti and him should fight for positions). Same for Bennacer, Kessie if given a chance, as well as Paqueta.

Castillejo > Correa. You can argue about his finishing, but he was unplayable at times. Why spend all that money on Correa?
on the 29th July, 2019 at 5:01am
Have to say i am very confused by milans summer transfer policy, there were stale players that needed moving on and the young midfielders are good signings but why are we breaking the bank to sign Correa? For that money we could try for Zaha, Cebellos, Sarabia and as some have said what happens if Piatek gets injured. Surely we be better off selling Donnarumma and keeping Cutrone. I expect either Chala, Suso or Castillejo to be sold before window closure and what are we doing with Silva?
on the 28th July, 2019 at 5:18pm
at least milan is getting a decent fee for cutrone still should of had a buyback clause for him. It is absurd if him get rid of silva and cutrone to sign leao, correa is no goalscorer either.

As for a fresh start milan never really brought the players that makes a 433 formation viable if suso has a bad game that it pretty much it for milan attack. Giampoalo tactics do suit this group of players it means the end for samu and suso sooner or later.
on the 27th July, 2019 at 11:09pm
What happens if Piatek gets injured, heaven forbid, can Correa and Leao supply his goals?
on the 27th July, 2019 at 8:21pm
@Salty Viktor

Sorry i didnt know you're so sensitive in zero trophy part. Ok, let me fix it. Here we go...

Milan is trash. They deliver trash level of entertainment. Very good to disappoint their fans every year. Boring football, mediocre squad, and zero trophy for almost a decade. Are you happy now??? LMAO
on the 27th July, 2019 at 7:20pm
Cutrone to Wolverhampton! What did he do to deserve that? Ok, so here we go. Milan have made their first big error of the 2019/20 season. They just can't get out of heir own way...
on the 27th July, 2019 at 4:28pm
@anonymous " Milan is trash. They deliver trash level of entertainment. Very good to disappoint their fans every year. Boring football, mediocre squad, and zero trophy. It's as simple as that" So you deiced to spend your Saturday afternoon to write this nonsense? "zero trophies"? What are you twelve? Get your facts straight kiddo, do some research. 
on the 27th July, 2019 at 4:24pm
@FI

Please backtrack this person as its clearly not me writing

@Viktor

"To improve our squad, our nut board has to sell Laxalt, Strinic and Andre Silva first (give dry loan to other clubs if situation demands) and get a cover in midfield. Instead they are more interested in non-descript youngsters from French Ligue and sell Cutrone who is a proven performer in Serie A."
on the 27th July, 2019 at 4:19pm
@Anonymous

"Theo Hernandez as the new Messiah when the boy is just 21 years old and has accomplished absolutely nothing at all.
Be realistic"


Ahhh cute, I hope you're having a nice Saturday besides from you troll comments on Milan. Jesus, sad.
on the 27th July, 2019 at 4:16pm
@Microslav Well said mate

@Laziale hahahahaha now go sell Savic
on the 27th July, 2019 at 3:20pm
So far we've made 3 very shrewd signings. Theo looks a real coup and at 21 should only get better. Krunic and Bennacer are great midfield reinforcements, the latter especially as he will be the base of the 3. Whilst I really dont want to see Cutro leave its best for both him and the club, he needs game time and we need a technical second striker to partner Piatek. In reality no one knows much about our mercato as most of these signings came from no where, lets trust Maldini and Boban for now.
on the 27th July, 2019 at 2:00pm
@laziale lol

Noone wants joaquin correa dude.
First inform yourself and then go and laugh at people otherwise you make an idiot of yourself.
We talk about angel correa...
on the 27th July, 2019 at 11:52am
@Diavolo LOL, we're not selling Correa to you at all. Don't believe anything you read.
on the 27th July, 2019 at 5:09am
Milan is trash. They deliver trash level of entertainment. Very good to disappoint their fans every year. Boring football, mediocre squad, and zero trophy. It's as simple as that.
on the 27th July, 2019 at 3:59am

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