AC Milan play yet another friendly, this time against La Liga foe Valencia, at the Mestalla Stadium. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain fitness, integrate new players, and gain playing experience in a well-known European stadium.
AC Milan v Valencia: What to Look for
It’s very likely that Olivier Giroud starts from the first minute. He scored a goal after a few minutes in his Rossoneri debut last week versus Nice, exciting Milan fans for what’s to come.
First off, it’s important to note that Giroud will not be Milan’s normal starter when the squad is healthy. That spot goes to the one and only Zlatan Ibrahimovic. With that being said, age and injury are catching up to the Swede. At some point, Giroud will regularly be starting. At worst for the Frenchman, however, he will likely appear in just about every match especially those where Milan are either losing or at a stalemate.
Giroud won’t have Milan’s complete supporting cast to be supplying him, so it will be interesting to see how he performs as the vocal point of attack both scoring and creating wise. It’s a friendly match so his performance won’t be under a magnifying glass, but scoring once again will set high expectations for the upcoming season. As of now, there’s two true strikers in the squad. Giroud is a crucial piece.
Daniel Maldini Carrying the AC Milan Legacy
Daniel Maldini, son of Milan legend and current director Paolo Maldini, is currently the back-up attacking midfielder on Milan’s depth chart. He isn’t likely to start this match, but could very well play the second-half, as seen in Milan’s last friendly.
Maldini is only 19-years-old, and his spot on the first team is not a guarantee yet. With that being said, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he leaves on loan. His father, and the club, would be wise to keep him around to learn from experiences and first-team players, as well as feature in cup matches.
He also isn’t on the team solely based on his last name. Maldini is quite talented, and this friendly against a reputable club will give him the opportunity to showcase his talent.
Alessio Romagnoli’s Future
Alessio Romagnoli’s story is an interesting one. He was Milan’s best defender (by a mile) for much of the down years, but lost his spot in the starting 11 last season. Injuries and COVID-19 played a role in this, but Simon Kjaer and Fikayo Tomori formed the strongest defensive duo Milan have had since Thiago Silva and Alessandro Nesta.
Romagnoli still holds the title of Milan captain, but has been rumoured to potentially leave the club or face the fact that he’s a bench option for now. With that being said, it’s also been rumoured that he’ll lose his captain title even if he stays.
These friendlies are vital for the Italian. He remains a strong defender when healthy. He’s going to have to prove, however, that he’s worth extending.
Friendlies typically are not crucial, but they are for him. Milan can very well sell him to build funds for other upgrades. Romagnoli, however, looks to be a Rossonero through and through. Expect him to do everything possible to keep a legitimate position in the squad rotation.
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