Since joining us in 2017, Franck Kessie has firmly established himself as a pivotal figure for Milan as he has remained a pillar in the side regardless of the coaching changes.
In less than two-and-a-half seasons, the 22-year-old has already surpassed 100 appearances for the Rossoneri, as he has often been an immovable figure in our starting line-up.
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After his stint with Atalanta, the Ivorian international looked like a fundamental signing for our midfield to offer energy, tenacity, defensive quality and a threat going forward. The youngster seemingly had the whole package and was capable of being much more than a mere raw talent.
While we’ve seen those attributes in a Milan shirt, it’s been all too brief and inconsistent. From his inability to improve on his lack of composure and quality in the final third to a lack of development and improvement in his overall game, Kessie has stagnated over the past two years and arguably hasn’t blossomed into the player many hoped he would become.
In 106 outings for Milan, he has managed just 13 goals and eight assists, with the majority of those goals coming from the penalty spot. For those who have consistently watched the Rossoneri over the last two years, they’ll be fully aware of the dangerous positions that Kessie has got himself into only to let himself down at the last.
While he often does all the hard work to draw praise, he cancels it out with his lack of quality and end product, and that sadly has blighted his time at Milan and left a sense of disappointment.
At 22, he still has plenty of time on his side to kick on. Evidently, there is a high-class player in there as he has all the qualities required to be a commanding and dominant box-to-box presence with his physicality, work ethic and limitless energy.
However, it simply hasn’t been enough for Milan and now question marks are beginning to be raised over his future at San Siro.
As reported by MilanNews, the midfield ace was left out of the squad for the clash with Juventus this past weekend by Stefano Pioli, with the report noting that he failed to impress in training during the week and was subsequently left behind for the trip to Turin.
Further, MilanNews also note comments made by respected Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio this week, where he suggested that the relationship between the two parties has gradually broken down and time will tell whether or not the Rossoneri decide to offload Kessie in January.
It’s been suggested that he could be sacrificed in order to finance our own signings in the New Year, as per La Gazzetta dello Sport, and so it appears as though Kessie has now reached a crossroads with regards to his future at Milan.
Based on the issues detailed above, it could be a sensible move to axe the former Atalanta star and use that fee to strengthen Pioli’s squad elsewhere as Rade Krunic has stepped in to replace Kessie in recent weeks and has done a commendable job.
However, it would still be such a shame to see him move on as there is clearly another level that he can take his game to, and it would be hugely frustrating to see him reach it elsewhere if he moves on.
Perhaps that’s what he needs at this point. A fresh start at another club to fulfil his potential and to showcase just how good he could be in the coming years. The Milan hierarchy will surely consider that if his future is up for discussion in January, as although he has been hugely frustrating and underwhelming on a consistent basis, it could be a decision that they rue as time goes on.
An exit in January would arguably seem a little pointless unless Milan have plans to bring in a replacement who could be a considered a significant upgrade. In turn, Kessie could have until the end of the season to prove that he has a major role to play for the club moving forward, but as the months pass by, he may be running out of time to prove that the best is yet to come.