Five Milan players who should be playing for their futures amid January exits talk

Calhanoglu Suso Milan

Speculation is currently linking a number of Milan players with an exit this month, but there are certain individuals who should arguably be at the top of that list.

As per Gianluca Di Marzio, it has been suggested that Mattia Caldara could be on his way out in January, while MilanNews.it note that Krzysztof Piatek is attracting attention too.

SEE MORE: How Milan could be set to make two critical mistakes in January transfer window

Whether it’s injury problems or poor form, the Milan duo have struggled to impress in recent times and so while it’s understandable as to why rumours would link them with an exit, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be considered priorities to be moved on.

Other factors naturally come into play in terms of their value and how much Milan could potentially make from sales to balance the books and avoid making losses, but the priority is the competitiveness and quality of the squad and there are several other players who should be fronting the queue for the chopping block.

Notable names

Some have missed out on making this list due to the fact that they’re already considered bit-part players in the squad, with the likes of Ante Rebic, Fabio Borini, Lucas Biglia, Ricardo Rodriguez and Samu Castillejo in mind. Given their lack of playing time so far this season, it seems inevitable that they will eventually move on anyway.

Mateo Musacchio

The 29-year-old has now made 70 appearances in a Milan shirt and while he’s often been the preferred option alongside Alessio Romagnoli, he has arguably never fully convinced as there are vulnerabilities and deficiencies in his game that ensure he isn’t the ideal choice.

Whether it’s losing his man in the box or being dragged out of position off the ball and being a key factor in goals conceded, there are countless examples of these lapses in concentration and many have proved to be costly.

In turn, instead of potentially sending Caldara back to Atalanta as suggested by Di Marzio in the report above, perhaps the more sensible plan would be to keep faith in him to displace Musacchio in the starting XI between now and the end of the season and sell the Argentine stalwart instead if there’s a market for him.

Hakan Calhanoglu

The Turkish international’s determination, commitment and work-rate are valuable attributes and as a fan, it’s important to see a player actually display effort and intensity to show that he cares, particularly when we’re struggling.

That said, the quality from a creative playmaker standpoint hasn’t been there, as he’s managed just 14 goals and 24 assists in 108 games.

Given that’s his primary purpose in the side, it’s simply not good enough and his inability to strike up an understanding with the likes of Piatek has been a major problem and crucial reason as to why we’ve struggled so badly in the final third this season.

Franck Kessie

Kessie has the full repertoire of qualities, everything you would want in a modern-day midfielder. From his tenacity and work ethic to his ability to power forward and get into good positions in attack to offer a box-to-box presence in the heart of the side.

After joining us in 2017, he should have kicked on and become a pillar in the side. However, the lack of improvement and development in his overall game has been alarming and it has led to him stagnating and leaving questions to be answered over how high his talent ceiling actually is.

From his lack of technical quality on the ball to his lack of composure in goalscoring positions, the same problems have blighted his spell with us. However, given the upside to his game and age, he could surely still command a decent fee.

Lucas Paqueta

There was a lot of fanfare after his arrival last January, as he joined us with a big reputation in Brazil and with the talent to suggest that he could be a leading figure for us for years to come.

It hasn’t worked out thus far as his influence has been minimal, but it’s still arguably fair to suggest that he should be given more time to prove his worth and showcase just how much quality he possesses.

That said, if he doesn’t produce in the next few months it could lead to more question marks over his future at Milan and so it’s important for him to show he can take his game to the next level and is capable of growing into a key role for us and being decisive.

Suso

This chapter should arguably already be closed, such has been his malaise so far this season which has resulted in him being constantly jeered by the Milan faithful at San Siro.

While we’ve grown accustomed to his dip towards the end of seasons, he has been nowhere near influential enough this year and that comes after we tried him in a trequartista role before reverting back to the 4-3-3 system to allow him to play on his favoured right wing.

It hasn’t worked for a while and it certainly isn’t working now. Assuming that the Spaniard somehow keeps his place in the line-up in the coming weeks, he surely now has a major task ahead of him in trying to prove that he should still be our go-to creative spark.

There has been too much importance and a heavy reliance placed on Suso for too long with mixed results. If Milan are to make genuine progress and be a serious contender in Europe again, it likely won’t happen with Suso being our leading man as the last few years have shown us.