Based on his preference in previous jobs, the expectation is that Marco Giampaolo will implement a 4-3-1-2 system at Milan next season.
The Italian tactician has a distinct style of play and a brand of football which his teams play based on the tactical set-up noted above, and so it would be a surprise for many to see him deviate away from that with the Rossoneri.
With that in mind, he’ll likely deploy two men up front next season, and that could now open the door for Andre Silva to have a second chance at San Siro.
Silva spent the 2017/18 campaign with us and managed just 10 goals and two assists in 40 appearances across all competitions as he struggled for a permanent spot in the starting line-up in a 4-3-3, but it could be argued that we never really saw the best of him.
That in turn led to his loan exit to Sevilla last year, but after a bright start for the La Liga outfit he tailed off as the campaign progressed and question marks have now been raised over whether or not the 23-year-old will be able to rediscover his form at Porto at the top level moving forward.
Some perhaps thought that he should have stayed in Italy for another year having had the chance to adjust to his new club, teammates, environment and culture, but he wanted more opportunities and felt that they would be more forthcoming in Spain.
Now though, La Gazzetta dello Sport note that Milan have a decision to make, as while it’s suggested that Giampaolo sees him as a possible partner for Krzysztof Piatek in his attacking duo, should a decent offer arrive this summer, it could turn Milan’s head to green light an exit.
Should Silva stay next season?
In short, there is certainly a strong argument in favour. The Portuguese international showed previously that not only does he have quality in front of goal, albeit he was blighted by inconsistency, he has the technical ability and all-round game to flourish alongside a more proven goalscorer like Piatek.
From his ability to run the channels with his turn of pace and clever movement to stretch defences and create space for Piatek in the box, to his talent in dropping deeper and linking up play, we saw it at Porto and we’ve seen him produce such quality for Portugal too.
There is a genuine argument to suggest that Silva could be an ideal partner for Piatek, while Patrick Cutrone can offer quality depth behind them to step in if necessary to offer a different dynamic in the final third and a lift if coming off the bench.
With other areas of the squad needing to be dealt with as a priority, namely the midfield, keeping Silva and trying to find a balanced and prolific partnership with Piatek next season could be an ideal solution for Giampaolo, who will undoubtedly monitor his players in the coming weeks as they return for pre-season and decide on who will form part of his plans over the next 12 months.
Given our apparent struggles to wrap deals up elsewhere, it may also be a case of running out of time to find a viable replacement and so Silva could have a huge chance in pre-season to convince Giampaolo that he doesn’t need to enter the market for another striker this summer and is indeed committed to proving himself in a Milan shirt.