AC Milan’s midfield has seen major improvements over the past few years. In 2016/17, the midfield consisted of Mario Pašalić – still in Serie A but an inconsistent feature in Bergamo, Jose Sosa – now plying his trade in Turkey, and Juraj Kucka – currently turning out for Parma. In just two seasons, Milan’s midfield has transformed itself into a much improved cohort – now consisting of young Brazilian starlet Lucas Paquetá, midfield machine Tiemoue Bakayoko, and our very own tank Franck Kessié.
Although it’s far from perfect, it has certainly improved by leaps and bounds since the 2016/17 campaign, and the question remains – how can it be further improved?
The first obvious move would be to trigger the permanent option in Bakayoko’s contract. At just 24 years-old, he has shown to be worth every penny of his €38m option, and it is imperative Milan don’t pass up this opportunity. The Frenchman has earned 5 Man of the Match awards this season, and according to WhoScored, has the highest average Match Rating of all AC Milan players this season. He consistently performs above standard and should be one of the pieces Milan build the midfield project around.
Lucas Paquetá has shown his quality this season and he clearly has bags of potential. His flair and vision has wowed the Milan faithful and he has quickly become a fan favourite. Naturally, he should sit in the regista role next to Bakayoko, or in the trequartista role in a 4-3-1-2 formation. However fans still seem divided over Franck Kessié. The 2 – year loan ends in just a few weeks, when the €18m option is automatically triggered, but his performances have been lacklustre this season, and his Champions League pedigree is questionable as he clearly lacks the ability to produce in the last third – something he can still improve.
Milan seem to be in the market for a new centre midfielder, and the rumours have ranged from Adrien Rabiot, who looks set for a transfer to La Liga: Real Madrid or Barcelona, Nicolò Barella, who is reportedly being hunted by Chelsea, Juventus and Inter to name a few, and Sandro Tonali, a young talent plying his trade in the second division at leaders Brescia. The Milan midfield has increased exponentially, but it seems another midfield shake-up is on the horizon.