Tactical tests at Milanello for Giampaolo: Calhanoglu, Suso and more

As expected, Giampaolo is getting to know the AC Milan squad ahead of the upcoming season, painting a picture of how the starting eleven should look come the end of August. According to Sky Italia, several players were tested by the manager during Monday’s training session at Milanello. 

Starting from the back, the defence tested is very similar to that of last year, also because there’s only been one signing on that front thus far. Giampaolo tried Musacchio and Romagnoli as the duo in the centre, while Rodriguez played as the left-back, although Hernandez is expected to start at the beginning of the season. On the right flank, Calabria and Conti will have to battle it out for a starting spot.

In the midfield, however, things get interesting. With Kessie and Bennacer (deal yet to be announced) expected to take up two spots in the three-man midfield, Giampaolo is looking for the perfect player for the left side and during today’s training, he tested Calhanoglu. A position which the Turk is familiar with, though Paqueta is believed to be ahead of him in the pecking order.

As for the trequartista, or the attacking midfielder if you like, Suso was tested in this role. The Spaniard has been linked with a transfer move in recent weeks, but since few teams are interested in him, Giampaolo might have the winger at his disposal next season. Along with Paqueta, he represents a good option for the role, as creativity is needed to provide the strikers with the right service.

Speaking of the two men up front, Andre Silva lined up alongside Piatek. Not surprising, given that Cutrone is on vacation after participating in the U-21 Euros with Italy. The management is yet to make a decision on their strikers, as one will most likely have to leave before the transfer market ends. Despite this, Giampaolo is keen on revitalizing Andre Silva while Cutrone is seemingly safe, even though Milan would register a good capital gain on a potential sale of the Italian.

In other words, it remains to be seen how the starting eleven will be like next season, as a lot depends on the ongoing transfer window. Along with Boban and Maldini, Giampaolo will have to discuss their next move on the market, especially when it comes to offloading players. Certainly, it won’t be easy, though he will have a few pre-season games that could help with the decision-making.

Possible AC Milan XI next season (4-3-1-2): Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessie, Bennacer, Paqueta (Calhanoglu); Suso (Paqueta); Piatek, A. Silva.

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