Following a disappointing start to the season, Stefano Pioli has officially taken over from Marco Giampaolo, who had his job for just seven games. Next week, the first game under the new manager will take place, as Lecce will pay a visit to the San Siro.
However, it remains to be seen which players Pioli will opt for in the starting eleven, especially up front. The other two departments, namely the defence and midfield, have more or less been decided already, at least so it seems. For the attack, on the other hand, it is different.
Even so, Gazzetta Dello Sport seems to have a pretty clear picture of the manager’s ideas, predicting the following XI: Donnarumma; Conti, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessie, Biglia, Paqueta; Suso, Piatek, Leao. In other words, the Rossoneri’s Portuguese starlet will play on the left flank once again.
Against Genoa, he came on in the second half to replace Piatek, thus playing as the centre forward. Straight away, he helped his side turn the game around and proved that he’s at his best in that position. Since then, many Milan fans have urged Pioli to bench Piatek in favour of the 20-year-old, though I believe this would be the wrong choice.
Even though the Polish international hasn’t had the best of starts to the season, now is the time to turn things around. Furthermore, one can expect Pioli’s philosophy to benefit the striker more, given that Giampaolo wanted to incorporate him early on in the build-up phase.
As already stated by the new manager during the press conference, it’s all about providing Piatek with the right service from the flanks, meaning he will have more time to focus on his position in the box, rather than outside it. In essence, the feeling is that Pioli will put much effort into getting the striker back in full form, as we all know how important he can be.
Therefore, in my opinion, it’s only right that he gets a second chance. After all, the same applies to some of his teammates as well and after the first game, we can evaluate the situation properly. I have no doubts that Leao would be able to perform very well in the centre, but at the time being, it’s even more important to get Milan’s number nine going.
On another note, it remains to be seen what Rebic’s role will be, as he didn’t get much space when Giampaolo was in charge. I don’t think there’s anyone that doubts the winger’s qualities, given that he continues to perform for Croatia, but it’s more a matter of where he should play in the 4-3-3. However, that’s for Pioli to figure out ahead of the Lecce clash.
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