After a hugely frustrating season last year where he was limited to just 10 appearances, Giacomo Bonaventura is back playing regularly for Milan.
The 30-year-old has had to come through a difficult period due to injury troubles, but it’s been a welcome sight to see him return to the fold over the past month.
After a string of cameo appearances, he’s now started four consecutive games in Serie A which has coincided with our four-game unbeaten run.
While that’s not to suggest that it’s all down to him, there is no doubt that the experience, leadership and quality that he brings to the Milan midfield makes a huge difference with our performances and subsequently has a knock-on effect with our results.
Naturally, his goals against Napoli and Bologna will stand out as key moments, but there is so much more that he brings to the table which still make him a fundamental piece in our squad.
From his work-rate and commitment to his intelligence on and off the ball, he is arguably still a level above other key individuals in the starting XI as he has a class and maturity about him which sets the tone and the standard for those around him too.
While he doesn’t seemingly come across as a conventional leader, there is no doubt that he holds a special level of importance when on the field and it could be argued that our upturn in form coming at the same time as his return to the line-up is much more than a mere coincidence.
It’s hoped that there is still much more to come from him as he continues to play regularly and get back to his best form, and if Stefano Pioli can get more out of those around him, it could help us remain in the hunt for a top-four finish this season with multiple players stepping up rather than relying on certain individuals.
Bonaventura will no doubt be leading that charge if he stays fit, and as noted by Calciomercato, there is also the important matter of his contract which must be sorted out as he prepares to become a free agent at the end of the season.
If he continues to perform at this level, offering him a new deal which surely become a no-brainer. Based on what we’ve seen in recent weeks though, perhaps that’s already the case as it’s hoped that the Milan hierarchy will indeed extend Bonaventura’s time at San Siro.