Stefano Pioli Delivers Fitness Update on Two Milan Midfielders

Milan boss Stefano Pioli has admitted he cannot wait for the midfield duo Junior Messias and Tiemoue Bakayoko to overcome their physical problems. During an interview with the Il Giornale (via FootyPreviews), the Rossoneri strategist delivered an update on Messias’ technical and tactical prowess.

I can’t wait for Messias and Bakayoko to recover,” Pioli said. “Messias has qualities, he is intelligent and will amaze. He’s capable of playing in two roles.”

Messias joined the Rossoneri from Crotone on a season-long loan with an option to buy on the deadline day. However, a lack of fitness has seen make him just a cameo appearance in Milan’s 3-2 away win over Atalanta last time out. 

Despite showing glimpses of his potential, the 30-year-old will hope to forget his Rossoneri debut, having conceded a penalty that would almost initiate Atalanta’s comeback. Known for his sublime technique and vision, the Brazilian can cover multiple positions higher up the pitch, which suits Pioli’s continuous rotations.

In the meantime, Bakayoko, who returned to the San Siro on a two-year loan from Chelsea this summer, has yet to hit the ground running in Serie A. The 27-year-old midfielder picked up a muscle injury on his second Milan debut against Napol. He spent just 13 minutes on the field, having joined the fray as a second-half substitute.

Milan will return to Serie A action on October 16 against Hellas Verona on home turf. Pioli’s side headed into the international break trailing top-placed Napoli by a mere two points. Though Luciano Spalletti’s men are setting the pace with seven wins from seven, the Rossoneri must be confident of improving upon their runner-up finish in 2020/21.

Indeed, Milan welcomed October’s international window as one of just three sides yet to taste a bite of defeat this Serie A campaign. Despite drawing their last two top-flight H2Hs as hosts, the Rossoneri will be overwhelming favorites to beat Verona once Serie A returns to action in mid-October.