AC Milan are still at the top of the table in Serie A and have qualified for the round of 32 in the Europa League, but haven’t been without their injury woes. Their form is still hot, with only one loss all season (to Lille in the Europa League). When it comes to Serie A, Milan are undefeated with 28 points out of a possible 36. For the time being, they are exceeding all expectations.
With that being said, if Milan wish to truly contest for the Scudetto, and even the Europa League, they need to get healthy. Stalwarts of the team like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ismael Bennacer, and Simon Kjaer have been out for a couple of matches, and are set to miss more. It’s no surprise that those injuries have coincided with questionable results for the club.
AC Milan Struggling With Injury
Ismael Bennacer and Simon Kjaer
Bennacer is the engine that keeps Milan running. His statistics with goals and assists aren’t great, but time and time again he is one of the top performers on the pitch. The Algerian sensation is integral in creating attacks from the midfield and continuously tracks back on defence to make many decisive tackles every match.
He has already missed a couple of matches, and Milan have struggled to get things going. Bennacer is set to miss this weekend’s match against Sassuolo. This is a major loss, as Sassuolo are sixth in the table with a potent attack and tough defence. This could certainly be one of the matches that decide Milan’s fate down the road.
The defence has struggled without Kjaer. Captain Alessio Romagnoli has been solid, but the other centre-back position has been a revolving door. Matteo Gabbia is also struggling with injury, and Pierre Kalulu shows flashes of brilliance but is far too inexperienced. Kjaer is Milan’s best defender and a true leader, and his absence shows. Milan has allowed two goals from both Genoa and Parma the last two matches, something that certainly would not have happened with Kjaer.
Milan’s entire style of play changed when Ibrahimovic returned to the club nearly one year ago. He has been integral on and off the field, whether it be inspiring the young players or holding accountability.
Besides those intangibles, Ibrahimovic remains one of the top players in Serie A. He’s tied for the most goals in the league this season, despite only playing half of Milan’s games. He’s always the focal point going forward and his skill, paired with experience, allows him to find the net in pretty much every single match.
Milan’s attack is mediocre at best without him. They’ve had to resort to the entire team trying to score, from midfielders to defenders. Variation is always welcome, but every club needs its consistent goal-scoring threat. Ante Rebic has not been able to fill in as a lone striker, as he is a natural winger.
According to Antonio Vitiello, Ibrahimovic is likely to miss the rest of 2020. That includes two massive games against Sassuolo and Lazio. Milan desperately need him to return in 2021 for their fixture against Juventus on January 6.