Why key figure still has big role to play for Milan after injury nightmare

Giampaolo Bonaventura AC Milan

Since joining Milan in 2014, Giacomo Bonaventura has been through a lot with the club as he makes his latest comeback from injury this season.

The 30-year-old was undoubtedly one of the most consistent figures for the Rossoneri before his injury troubles struck, regularly emerging as the most influential player in the side and dragging us through some difficult times.

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He’s bagged 31 goals and 16 assists in 152 appearances for the club, but as noted above, injuries have severely limited him at times, never more so than last season where he was restricted to just 10 appearances in the campaign.

Having spent the last 10 months in rehabilitation and recovery, the Italian international has been back in full training this summer and even featured in pre-season, making an impressive cameo appearance against Feronikeli.

The signs were promising as Marco Giampaolo deployed him in the trequartista role, and Bonaventura showed his class with some excellent passages of play on and off the ball as he slotted in well immediately.

Aside from the technical quality, creativity and goal threat that he provides in the final third, Bonaventura’s versatility also makes him a pivotal figure for us, and heading into this new campaign he could find himself in a number of positions to help the team.

From playing as a mezzala to replacing Suso as the No.10, or perhaps even as a second striker to support Krzysztof Piatek, there is little doubt that a fully fit and healthy Bonaventura can make a huge difference for Milan, and some may even argue his absence last season was a major factor in why we ultimately just missed out on Champions League qualification.

As seen in the compilation above, his threat from set-pieces, the ability to make well-timed runs into the box to pop up with key goals to his all-round scoring threat and quality to create for others all make him a huge presence if he can avoid injuries.

Naturally, such setbacks will take their toll and there are still reservations over whether or not Bonaventura will come back the same player, or if the constant blows have slowed him down and forced him to adjust his game.

Time will tell whether or not that’s the case as ultimately it didn’t look as though he was particularly rusty against Feronikeli, although a pre-season run-out and the intensity and quality of a Serie A game are two completely different propositions.

As seen in his Instagram post below, ‘Jack’ joked about turning 30 and the delight over not dealing with knee pain as he continues his pre-season preparations, and he’ll undoubtedly be delighted that he’s managed to come through the summer schedule with no setbacks and has playing time under his belt.

It’s an absolute delight to see Bonaventura back on the pitch and in the thick of things in training, and the quality and impact that he brings to the table shouldn’t be forgotten or under-valued as his return is arguably almost like adding a new signing to the mix.