How Will Milan Line-up With Pioli This Season?

Despite a tough start to their summer, Milan have thus far managed to navigate their way in the Calciomercato. Following the expiry of their respective contracts, Gianluigi Donnarumma left his boyhood club in favor of the City of Lights, while Hakan Calhanoglu made the short trip across town, joining the Rossoneri’s city rivals. Nonetheless, Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara didn’t panic, instead, they remained composed and went on with the safe but effective strategy they adopted within the last few years, focusing on maintaining the club’s young roster. Therefore, Stefano Pioli will be handed a Milan squad that hasn’t dramatically changed. But what can we expect from his starting formation?

Goalkeeper and Defense

Even before the official departure of Donnarumma, the management reacted swiftly by acquiring the services of Mike Maignan from Lille. The French goalkeeper played an important role in his former club’s shocking Ligue 1 triumph last season, and will be hoping to further evolve in Serie A.

Following a splendid campaign, Simon Kjaer has become the De Facto leader of the backline. The experienced Dane is enjoying the best moment of his career, and he’s expected to be paired with Fikayo Tomori who managed to usurp club captain Alessio Romagnoli.

After impressing in his initial loan spell, the English defender’s contract was purchase for 29 million euros, which remains until the time of writing the biggest fee paid by an Italian club during this depressing summer transfer market.

Despite the rumored arrival of Alessandro Florenzi, Davide Calabria should maintain his spot on the right after making significant leaps last season.

Pioli has a new left back at his disposal in Fodé Ballo-Touré, but the new arrival is unlikely to trouble his compatriot Theo Hernandez, who has already cemented himself as one of the best in the game during his time at Milan.

Double Pivot

The Diavolo could be facing a shortage in this role since Soualiho Meite’s contract wasn’t purchased. Tomaso Pobega still has speculations surrounding his future, but he could remain at the club due to Franck Kessié’s latest injury.

The President is easily the best midfielder that Milan possess, and Stefano Pioli is always left with a huge hole to fill whenever he’s missing. The Ivorian’s most reliable partner remains Ismael Bennacer, and whilst Sandro Tonali has been confirmed by the management, the Italian needs to deliver the goods this season following an average-at-best first campaign at San Siro.

Attacking Midfield

Surely the most uncertain department in the squad. With Samu Castillejo no longer wanted by Pioli, and Milan unable to buy a more exciting winger on the right hand-side, Alexis Saelemaekers should continue to feature as a regular starter.

On the other wing, Ante Rebic and Rafael Leao could once again compete for the role. The Croatian might have an advantage early on, but the Portuguese could gain the spot as the season progresses.

But the biggest headache facing the tactician remains the number 10 role. Brahim Diaz inherited Calhanoglu’s jersey, but can he take his role on the pitch as well?

The young Spaniard finished the last campaign on a high note, but the club is being linked with a host of attacking midfielders, including the likes of Luis Alberto and Josip Ilicic.

However, it seems that the management would only be able to land a less recognized name, paving the way for Diaz to feature more regularly and fulfill his early career promise.


Even though Olivier Giroud is a welcomed addition to the club, there’s only one Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and as long as Zlatan is fit to play, Zlatan will always start ahead of any mortal.

Luckily for the Frenchman, the Swedish legend is set to miss the first couple of matches of the season, paving the way for him to introduce himself to Serie A by bagging some goals perhaps.

But Pioli is unlikely to change the 4-2-3-1 lineup that he adopted during the vast majority of his time at Milan, so we can always expect Ibra to start, and Giroud to play in his stead whenever the Lion needs time on the treatment table.

Milan Probable Lineup

Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Hernandez; Bennacer, Kessié; Saelemaekers, Diaz, Leao; Ibrahimovic

Read More – Milan Ready to Tweak Their Scheme if They Did Not Get a New No.10