AC Milan’s 2018/19 season in Serie A hasn’t gone according to plan; after spending near on £80m on two players in the January transfer window, it seemed as though Champions League qualification and title contention with frontrunners Juventus, was assured. However after a string of horrendous results they sit fifth in the league, one point above where they finished last season.
Champions League qualification seemed to be the ultimate aim for Gennaro Gattuso’s men at the start of the season, but they now sit one point behind Champions League qualification and need either Atalanta or rivals, Inter, to drop points in the final game of the season if they’re to secure it.
Milan started off having a pretty stellar campaign, only losing four of their opening 27 games, but then throughout the month of March they endured an injury crisis, losing many key first team players and their results suffered. Losing four games in the space of two months saw them slip further down the table, out of their desired top-four spot.
Milan’s squad is full of promising young talent, but what it lacks is squad depth. This is mainly due to the rebuild the Rossoneri have had over the past few years resulting in many players jumping ship over the past few seasons, if they’re to challenge for the title and the Champions League, they need to improve the backbone of their squad.
Here, we rundown every first-team player and decide whether or not they deserve to be a part of Gennaro’s plans next season.
Gianluigi Donnarumma – KEEP – Donnarumma has been incredibly impressive this season, and at only 20 years of age, Milan would be incredibly naive to sell such a promising young goalkeeper.
Pepe Reina – KEEP – Reina is an incredibly reliable backup and domestic cup goalkeeper that Milan can turn to whenever they need him.
Ignazio Abate – RELEASE – Abate has been at Milan for 10 years now, but unfortunately, he can no longer hold his own against some of the more tricky wingers in the league. Even though he’s a fan favourite, it doesn’t seem as though his contract is going to be renewed this summer when it expires.
Davide Calabria – KEEP – Calabria has been impressive performances offensively and defensively for the Rossoneri this season. Although injury has plagued the second half of his season, when he returns to the starting lineup, he will be one of the first names on Milan’s team sheet.
Ivan Strinic – SELL – Milan have a vast plethora of options in the full back spot, and there doesn’t seem to be a place for the 31-year-old Croatian wing-back. Selling him would free up some valuable wages that could be used elsewhere.
Andrea Conti – KEEP – Conti hasn’t had the best of times since signing for Milan, with two separate knee injuries forcing him to miss a lot of gametime, but when he does return he will be a valuable asset for Milan.
Cristián Zapata – RELEASE – Zapata has been with Milan for seven years but he doesn’t quite cut it anymore, he may be released in order to free up funds for another marquee signing.
Mateo Musacchio – KEEP – Musacchio hasn’t solidified his starting place in the Milan lineup as many thought he would, but another full season under his belt without competition from Zapata should prove useful for the Argentinian.
Alessio Romagnoli – KEEP – One shining star among an ageing AC Milan backline, Romagnoli has proven himself to be one of the best young defenders in world football this season.
Mattia Caldara – KEEP – Caldara has also been plagued with injuries since joining from Juventus. But once he solidifies his role in the starting XI, Milan may finally have a decent centre back partnership on their hands.
Tiemoué Bakayoko – LOAN EXPIRED – Bakayoko has been in incredible form for Milan this season, after a disastrous Premier League campaign at Chelsea. Sadly it looks as though he won’t be returning to San Siro, as Chelsea will need him if their transfer ban is upheld.
Lucas Biglia – KEEP – Biglia has proven his leadership qualities this season, and shown why he is the rock at the heart of AC Milan’s midfield.
Giacomo Bonaventura – KEEP – Bonaventura is one of Milan’s most influential players, and his absence from the squad due to injury led to their calamitous dip in form.
Franck Kessié – KEEP – This man has been incredibly important in Milan’s resurgence over the past few months, providing defensive assistance and attacking threat. Kessie is the type of player to build a squad around.
José Mauri – KEEP – Mauri is coming to the end of his Milan contract and it is speculated that it won’t be renewed, however I think this is a bad bit of business. He hasn’t lived up to his potential, but as of late he has been performing consistently in the absence of key players, Milan should give him another chance.
Attacking Midfielders & Wingers
Lucas Paquetá – KEEP – Since signing from Flamengo for around £40m in the January transfer window, Paqueta has been on fire for Milan, and looks set to be a star for years to come.
Diego Laxalt – KEEP – Laxalt may not be the first name on the team sheet but he can play nearly every position on the pitch, and thus is a valuable player for squad depth.
Fabio Borini – KEEP – In a similar vein to Laxalt, Borini isn’t ever going to be a world class player, but he can be an asset on his day.
Hakan Calhanoglu – SELL – Calhanoglu has drastically improved in his second season at Milan, but due to the vast amount of attacking options Milan possess, he may never get the first-team football he was promised.
Suso – SELL – Suso has been utterly fantastic this season for Milan, contributing to 16 goals in 34 appearances in the league. But his dip in form in March caused Milan’s many offensive problems, and if they’re smart they could use the money from his sale to purchase numerous first team players.
Samu Castillejo – SELL – Castillejo has not had the desired impact many thought he would’ve when he joined Milan from Villarreal in 2018, and as he takes up a huge chunk of their wage budget they would be smart to sell him on to free up some funds.
Krzysztof Piatek – KEEP – Piatek has quite simply been in breathtaking form this season, catapulting his name into the annals of the Serie A, scoring 22 goals this season and proving himself to be one of the best young strikers in the world.
Patrick Cutrone – KEEP – Cutrone is a Milan youth academy starlet that burst onto the first team scene last season, but after Piatek’s stellar arrival since signing from Genoa, he’s hardly had a look in. If Milan build their attack around these two next season, it could become unstoppable.