Swedish talisman, Zlatan Ibrahimovic said in July 2020, that if he had been at AC Milan from the start of the 2019-20 season, the Rossoneri would have won the title. Many pundits and fans alike scoffed at the remarks considering the turbulent seasons the Rossoneri have had in the last few years. The team was 12th in the league and were looking set to continue the downward spiral. Ibrahimovic’s arrival sparked a revival of sorts and the club secured a Europa league spot while beating some “big boys” including Juventus.
A few months into the new season, Zlatan seems to be on a mission to lead Milan to both domestic and continental glory. Since their last loss in Serie A in March, Milan have lost only one game out of 24 played in Serie A and the UEFA Europa League. Sitting a top both Serie A and their Europa League group, pundits are slowly beginning to consider them as a genuine threat to Juventus’ crown.
Most of the club’s success has been attributed to the tactical nous of Stefano Pioli and wise investments in the playing body. In 38 games in Serie A under Pioli, the Rossoneri have lost only six games their best return in a few years. The Pioli project is taking shape nicely and his mark is gradually being left on his players.
A combination of experienced players (Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alessio Romagnoli, Hakan Calhanoglu and Simon Kjaer) and rising talents (Diaz, Sandro Tonali, Bennacer and Leao) has given Pioli the desired results. It was feared that the Rossoneri were stockpiling talents but that has provided healthy competition and brought the best out of them. The current team has been compared to the AC Milan side that won the Serie A title in 1998/99. While there are differences in the composition of Pioli’s team, there’s a style of play that is similar to that title winning side.
Since Max Allegri left the club in 2014, a total of eight managers have been in and out of the managerial post with minimal success. The club has also seen ownership transferred twice and many feel that contributed to the club’s struggles on the field. With the ownership issue sorted, the club is doing everything possible to sort all off-field issues in a professional manner to put the club in the right direction.
On current form, Milan look to be rubbing shoulders with the big boys and Zlatan is key to the success of the team. The Swede has scored 8 times already having just turned 39 in October and will be instrumental in carrying the team to glory after almost a decade. Players like Calhanoglu and Donnaruma are as important as the Swede and are expected to renew their deals at the San Siro. Keeping the manager and the core of the team together while making wise additions will most definitely ensure that the new dawn leads to a bright day and not a step back into the darkness.