Is sending Bakayoko back to Chelsea the right choice for AC Milan?


Just a few weeks ago, the redemption of Bakayoko seemed like a must for AC Milan ahead of next season. However, in recent days, new reports suggest the opposite, with the Rossoneri reportedly re-evaluating the situation. 

The claims came about as it was revealed that Bakayoko had arrived an hour late for training this week, which subsequently led to the squad being sent into a training retreat ahead of Monday’s clash with Bologna. Gattuso was upset with the behaviour of the players, and the Frenchman’s actions was the final straw. Continue reading

What to Watch For: Chievo vs Milan


On Saturday, Gennaro Gattuso’s flaming hot Milan side pay last place Chievo a visit at the Bentegodi with the goal of keeping the win streak alive and maintaining momentum heading into next weekend’s Derby della Madonnina.

The Rossoneri enter the tie having won four in a row during an overall nine-match unbeaten run, while the Flying Donkeys just look to play spoiler down the stretch here sitting in 20th.

Here is what you should be watching for in Chievo vs Milan: Continue reading

Three things we learned from AC Milan’s hard-fought win against SPAL

After four games of misery, AC Milan finally managed to get the win, taking on SPAL at the San Siro. With that said, Gattuso will feel a bit more relieved heading into the new year, with his job (probably) intact.

The Rossoneri hadn’t scored for an incredible four games ahead of tonight’s clash: a spell which they, fortunately, managed to break. However, it didn’t start in the best way possible, as a Petagna effort took a wicked deflection off Romagnoli, putting it out of reach for Donnarumma in goal. The home crowd was certainly stunned as they away side ran away in celebration. Continue reading

Gattuso hopes consistency will help AC Milan against SPAL

After a disastrous spell in the league, during which they haven’t won in four games, AC Milan are gearing up to face SPAL on Saturday evening. This will be the decisive test for Gattuso, who’s currently on the brink. 

Not only have the Rossoneri failed to win in these games, but they’ve also failed to score. In fact, Gattuso’s men have failed to find the back of the net in their last four successive Serie A games, which is their joint-worst run since 1930 (six games). In other words, you could certainly say that the team is experiencing a crisis, as the top four is slowly slipping away.

Luckily for Milan, though, their rivals haven’t done too good either as of late, which certainly helps limit the consequences of their poor run. The Rossoneri are just three points off the fourth spot, although the draw against Frosinone saw them move down to sixth place. Therefore, at the moment, it’s not just a race between Milan and Lazio, but also with Sampdoria. Since the latter will face Juventus away from home on Saturday, the order could be restored, that is if Milan get their first win in four games.

It looks like Gattuso will rely on consistency against SPAL, as it could be the first time that he fields the same starting eleven twice in a row since the third round, when they played Roma and Cagliari. However, there is one question mark. Suso was originally ruled out for the game, but appeared on the squad list earlier today. It’s not expected that he will be risked, although it shouldn’t be ruled out either.

AC Milan (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessiè, Bakayoko, Calhanoglu; Castillejo, Higuain, Cutrone.

Andrea Conti made his comeback against Fiorentina last weekend and also played 16 minutes against Frosinone on Wednesday. Despite a bright impact, he’s not quite ready to start, as was revealed by Gattuso during today’s press conference. As said, though, he looked to be in good shape, offering something else to the Rossoneri attack.

“I want to see 23 determined players tomorrow, how we win does not matter to me, what matters is the final result,” Gattuso stated during today’s press conference.

After reports suggested that the 40-year-old would need a convincing display in order to keep his job, this certainly hints at the opposite. Perhaps, Maldini and Leonardo have decided that Gattuso is the right man for the job, although there were moments it seemed sacking was the only option.

In any case, Milan will need to put an end to their goal drought, as three points are absolutely crucial in order to stay within the top four teams. Should the Rossoneri not make top four this season, then that will have many consequences ahead of next season. Leonardo revealed that the redemptions of Bakayoko and Higuain are dependant on Champions League qualification, which means that the players really need to step up.

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Three things we learned from AC Milan’s hard-fought win against Parma

Despite having 63% of the possession, AC Milan had a hard time finding clear-cut chances against a very compact Parma defence, consisting of all of their players for most of the time. Luckily, Gattuso’s men got away with the three points, which certainly can be described as hard-fought. Continue reading

Three things we learned from AC Milan’s roller-coaster performance against Dudelange

AC Milan managed to grab all three points against Dudelange, in front of their home fans. However, they certainly didn’t make things easy for themselves, conceding a second goal at the beginning of the second half. Here are three things we learned from the game. 

1. Bakayoko is decisive for AC Milan’s midfield

Once again, the Frenchman put in a great shift in the centre of the pitch. It seems he’s gaining some self-confidence after a tough season in London, as well as a heavy start to his adventure at San Siro. Nevertheless, he’s starting to prove his real worth, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Milan decide to make use of the €35m clause in June, should he continue this way.

Tonight, he was decisive in the midfield, playing alongside Bertolacci. The latter didn’t have the best of games so Bakayoko was forced to take on more responsibility, which he did really well. In fact, according to WhoScored, he was the man of the match. Not surprising, considering that he completed 11/11 tackles, winning back the ball for his team on numerous occasions.

2. Calhanoglu performing after recovering from injury struggles

After having struggled with an ankle injury in the past few weeks, Calhanoglu has seemingly recovered. Against Lazio last weekend, we saw a glimpse of the Calhanoglu who did so well at the end of last season. Tonight, he returned, being a vital part of Milan’s turnaround. In fact, he was involved in all five goals, scoring one himself with a great low-driven strike.

Should he build on the game against Lazio, as well as tonight’s clash, then Rossoneri fans can expect to see the Calhanoglu of last season. Considering the number of injuries this squad has, his return is much needed, as his creativity would raise the overall quality of Milan’s left side.

3. Simic took his chance, Halilovic mediocre

On a more exciting note, with all due respect to Calhanoglu, Stefan Simic made his senior debut tonight. The 23-year-old has never really gotten the chance at the club, being loaned out multiple times, but Gattuso decided it was enough of that. Playing from the first minute, Simic paired up with Zapata in defence. The two did relatively well throughout the game, but surprisingly, Simic outperformed the Colombian.

In fact, in my opinion, he was probably one of the best players on the pitch, which is staggering given that he hasn’t played senior football since February. Now, of course, we shouldn’t get carried away: after all Dudelange was the opponent. However, his performance is a good sign for the upcoming games, especially given the lack of central defenders at Gattuso’s disposal. If he didn’t deserve playing time ahead of the game, then he certainly does deserve it now.

Unlike Simic, Halilovic failed to make the most of the opportunity. With that said, he wasn’t exactly bad, but neither was he fantastic. A few good twists and turns here and there, but that was all. Understandably, he was replaced by Suso in the second half.

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Milan’s sluggish back-ups fail to impress on the European stage

AC Milan kicked off their Europa League group stage away at Dudelange earlier this evening and managed to get away with all three points, after Gonzalo Higuain scored the decisive goal in the second half. 

However, even though three points should be considered as the main target, many Milan fans will still feel that the Rossoneri should have done better, in other words, winning by a bigger margin. Given that Olympiacos and Real Betis are also in the group, this game was beforehand considered as the ‘cakewalk’ for Milan, but tonight proved otherwise.  Continue reading

AC Milan smart to bring in a risk-free Bakayoko

AC Milan look set to continue their very well-thought transfer market campaign as Chelsea midfielder Tiémoué Bakayoko has arrived in Milan to complete his loan move to the San Siro side.

Leonardo and Maldini are working hard to secure a few more signings before the transfer window closes on Friday. Having already delivered Mattia Caldara and Gonzalo Higuain to Gennaro Gattuso, the plan is to bring in one winger and at least one midfielder.

There have been several names linked with the Rossoneri, but it seems that Bakayoko will be their next signing, as medical tests are scheduled for tomorrow (Monday). According to the reliable Gianluca Di Marzio, the French midfielder will arrive on loan with an option to buy, with the total cost of the operation being €40m.

Now, throughout the negotiations for Bakayoko, there have been a lot of criticism towards Leonardo and Maldini, and understandably so. The 23-year-old had a very poor season with Chelsea last campaign, ultimately failing to live up to his €45m price tag.

However, there are enough positives to argue that what Leonardo and Maldini are doing is actually very smart, especially considering Milan’s FFP situation. With only five days left of the transfer market, you can’t expect to get exactly what you wished for, though you can get quite close.

For Milan, the arrival of Bakayoko will be crucial, as he gives the Rossoneri a hand in fixing their biggest issue; depth. Last season, Franck Kessie played a total of 54 games as Milan were fighting across three competitions for a long time.

Now, even though the Ivorian did really well, there were definitely signs of fatigue from his side, especially in the latter stages of the campaign. This was all due to the fact that he had no natural replacement, forcing Gattuso to field him week in, week out.

Therefore, the arrival of at least one midfielder has been a priority for Milan this summer, and Bakayoko’s loan move could help fill this void. With that said, the French midfielder is perhaps not the ideal replacement for Kessie, but having played in all of the three central positions in a 3-5-2, he can surely do the job.

Furthermore, he will be able to replace the likes of Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura whenever needed. In regards to his role, it’s certainly unlikely that he will sit on the bench for most. With Gattuso in charge, though, we all know he will have to prove his worth.

Should Bakayoko manage to find his groove, much like the player we saw at Monaco, then Milan will be a lucky team. In that case, he wouldn’t be the first player to flop at Chelsea, only to redeem himself later on (De Bruyne, Salah…)

As it’s only a loan, the Rossoneri will be able to gamble on the matter. In the worst case, if things don’t go well, then there’s always the option to send him back to Chelsea, just like there’s the opportunity to sign him if things go well.

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