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Domestically both Internazionale and Milan fell well short of the standard set by the likes of Juventus and Roma, during last season’s campaign. An astonishingly low scoring Milan nestled in 6th, a place above their fierce rivals, who slumped towards a disappointing 7th.
Juve’s campaign was born out of the quality and consistency attributed to countless title winners throughout the years. A very reasonable goal tally was by no means the highest in the league, but it was the assured defensive performances that really distinguished The Old Lady from its counterparts.
It may be cliché but it is true nonetheless, that in all departments Internazionale and Milan never looked like having enough, lacklustre performances with no real confidence in any area of the field, betrays their respective positions in the league.
Like many before them and illustrating the appreciation of the size of the task ahead, Milan have reacted swiftly in their recruitment process over the summer.
The addition of Bonucci naturally captures the eye, and can help in two ways.
Firstly it illustrates the attraction of Milan, despite their poor finish. Importantly for the team though, it provides a platform for the team to play with more confidence.
Sure, Milan conceded too many, but importantly Bonucci possesses the ability to cleverly distribute into key areas of midfield, as well as providing winners’ experience in defence.
Mentality is perhaps generalised too much, but the importance of having champions in a team down on their luck cannot be underestimated.
Midfield and flexible forward thinking additions such as the likes of Hakan Calhanoglu, Franck Kessie and Fabio Borini are important for squad competition and will very much be eager to prove their potential.
However, the lack of a sure fire striker or forward with both the ability to score a range of goals and effectively link up play by dropping slightly deeper at times is still missing.
Borini still remains somewhat of an enigma and has shown he can play in different positions across a forward line, but does he represent the quality or consistency Milan need right now? Unlikely.
Carlos Bacca can prove frustrating, and it comes down to how willing Montella is to incorporate the Colombian into his setup.
I would maintain that whilst he evidently has natural finishing ability and an instinctive prowess in the confines of the box, it seems he hasn’t been able to adapt in creatively bridging the spaces between midfield and attack.
Whilst it would be a tad extreme to accuse Bacca of lacking intelligent movement outside of the box, his energy can reasonably be called into question. Bacca has the potential to score goals on a more consistent basis, but I would question as he begins to hit the wrong side of 30 as to whether he possesses the endeavour to maximise this.
Milan is starting a fresh, somewhat. Reasonably it looks likely they will be stronger for the forthcoming campaign. Whether it will be a complete piece though, very much remains to be seen. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it is hard to see if Milan will be in the space of a few months.
Written by Ross Wilson
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