Changes at the top-end of the hierarchy coupled with Marco Giampaolo’s appointment this summer will inevitably lead to changes to the Milan squad.
The Italian tactician will want to stamp his mark on the group ahead of next season, bringing in players that perhaps fit his ideas, tactical system and style of play better than those already at his disposal.
SEE MORE: How AC Milan could line up under Marco Giampaolo next season
Combined with those who will leave at the end of this month, it’s relatively certain that the Rossoneri will make key changes to the squad but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all the names linked with a departure should be axed.
As noted by Calciomercato, several players are reportedly in danger of being sold this summer, and perhaps there are arguments in favour of moving the likes of Suso and Franck Kessie on. However, three names stick out in terms of who should arguably get another chance to impress next season despite the change in management.
Cutrone should stay
As noted by MilanNews.it, there has been recent speculation surrounding the 21-year-old, with suggestions that although he isn’t on the market as such, an offer of €25m or above could force Milan to consider an exit.
Cutrone has bagged 27 goals and seven assists in 90 appearances for us since making his breakthrough at senior level, which of course followed on from his hugely impressive goalscoring feats for the Primavera.
Although he still has a lot to improve on in terms of his all-round game, his instincts in front of goal coupled with the passion, determination and desire that he displays every time he steps foot onto the pitch make him a key figure to have in the squad.
At his age, he rightly should still be battling for a starting place in the side as he has to prove he can score consistently to warrant a permanent stay in the starting XI. However, with Giampaolo expected to switch to a 4-3-1-2 next season, that should open up more opportunities for Cutrone, be it to partner Krzysztof Piatek or be used in rotation.
Cutrone can provide an important lift off the bench and is a natural goalscorer, offloading him at this stage of his career would surely be a mistake.
Andre Silva set to return
As per MilanNews, via the paper edition of Corriere della Sera, the Portuguese forward is set to get a second chance at Milan as he’s set to return from his loan spell at Sevilla this summer.
The report notes that it’s perhaps with the intention of rebuilding his profile and appeal on the transfer market, at which point he could be sold on to recoup his €38m fee.
Similarly to Cutrone, the switch to a system in which Milan will play with two men up front will be a boost, and he arguably suits it better than his teammate given his ability to drop deeper to link up play and stretch defences with his movement and pace off the ball.
Pairing him up top with Piatek could be a key solution rather than spending more money, that Milan may not even have, in the market for another striker, and if Milan wish to compete for a top-four finish in Serie A next season coupled with the Coppa Italia, they will need at least three strikers to manage the fixture list.
Silva, 23, scored 11 goals in 40 outings for Sevilla last season, which was only marginally better than his 10 goals in 40 games for Milan the previous year.
Whether it’s to rediscover the talent that we thought we’d signed or simply to try and get a return to limit the loss taken on him, Silva could get another chance next season.
Calhanoglu can be a useful piece in Giampaolo’s XI
This one will perhaps split opinion the most, as ultimately Calhanoglu hasn’t been anywhere near consistent enough and delivered in what has been a key role for Milan over the past two seasons.
The 25-year-old has contributed 12 goals and 24 assists in 91 appearances for the Rossoneri, and although we’ve seen glimpses of his quality at times, he has largely disappointed and fallen short of the standards expected and required at San Siro.
That being said, the Turkish international still has the quality and characteristics to be a vital part in Giampaolo’s side, as his technical ability, vision, passing range and tenacity off the ball could be a perfect fit for his plans next season.
As noted by Calciomercato, Calhanoglu himself has already declared that he will be at Milan next season, but naturally that decision will be out of his hands if the club decide to sell.
However, while Lucas Paqueta or Suso could occupy the trequartista role next season, Calhanoglu can surely play in the mezzala position on the left or right of a midfield three, or if Giampaolo wants to try and transform him then perhaps as a regista as he does have some of the qualities necessary for that role.
The key here is that Calhanoglu, albeit not always performing at a high enough level, can be a useful and versatile piece for Giampaolo next season, and he could flourish if he’s actually played in a preferred role rather than be pushed out on the left wing.
Some will argue that he’s had long enough to prove his worth but hasn’t done so, while Giacomo Bonaventura will return from injury next season and Rade Krunic will offer competition for places too.
Nevertheless, whether it’s a struggle to bring in desired targets or wanting to avoid making too many changes in one window, Calhanoglu arguably still has a role to play and will surely relish a chance to play in Giampaolo’s Milan to display his qualities.