AC Milan’s stated ambition this season is a top-four finish. Actually, it’s more than that — it’s a key element in determining whether they’ll be able refinance the $350 million mega-loan from Elliott Management when it becomes a due in a year’s time or whether they’ll end up with new owners. So, the 4-1 hammering at the hands of Lazio on Sunday won’t do much for morale.
The Rossoneri were poor pretty much across the board and Vincenzo Montella was comprehensively out-coached by Simone Inzaghi. Riccardo Montolivo and Lucas Biglia are competent midfielders but it’s tough to line them up together. Mateo Musacchio and Leonard Bonucci looked as if they had just met before kick-off (and, to be fair, it hasn’t been that much longer). In attack, Suso and Patrick Cutrone, who looked so sharp before, regressed to the mean.
The good news for Montella is that he has options. He can turn to Alessio Romagnoli and Andrea Conti at the back, Manuel Locatelli, Giacomo Bonaventura and Hakan Calhanoglou in midfield, and Nikola Kalinic and Andre Silva up front. That’s what being among the top spenders in Europe gets you: alternatives, and talented ones at that. With a smaller squad — and, perhaps, one with more fixed hierarchies — he couldn’t do that, but with this group, other than Bonucci and Gigi Donnarumma, nobody seems untouchable.
Click here to read more of Marcotti’s thoughts on what occurred in European football over the previous week.