Why Milan ace might have played his last game for club after fresh injury blow

Milan announced on Thursday that defensive ace Mateo Musacchio is set for keyhole surgery on his ankle next week, and it could raise further question marks over his future.

Doubts have already emerged this season, as it ultimately stems from his contract situation given his current deal is set to expire next summer.

READ MORE: How underwhelming Milan ace failed to step up with Pioli, fans expecting much more

Entering the final 12 months of an agreement is always a problematic sign, and while Football Italia noted last month that his agent revealed that the Argentine international is keen to stay, time will tell if a new contract offer will be put on the table to extend his stint at San Siro.

Musacchio has often struggled to cement his place in the starting XI at Milan, as it always seems as though there has been someone ready to step in ahead of him in the pecking order from Leonardo Bonucci to Mattia Caldara and more recent options including the likes of Matteo Gabbia and Simon Kjaer.

The 29-year-old has made 73 appearances for us since joining in 2017, and having made just 18 appearances so far this season, he’s on course for his worst tally in terms of outings in his three years at the club.

His frustration will be growing further this week as after suffering an ankle knock back in January, which in turn resulted in him sitting on the bench for five of the next six Serie A games, Milan confirmed in an official statement on Thursday that Musacchio will undergo keyhole surgery on his ankle next week.

The fact that it’s keyhole surgery suggests that it won’t keep him sidelined for long, but he hasn’t exactly got many more opportunities to prove his worth given we’ve got just 12 games remaining this season.

Kjaer arguably further cemented his place in the starting XI with his performance in Turin last week, while Gabbia showed prior to the coronavirus lockdown that he deserves more of a chance to impress.

While that will prove to be problematic for Musacchio in the short term, La Gazzetta dello Sport note that Milan are on the verge of officially announcing the signing of youngster Pierre Kalulu, and so it looks as though the club are looking in a different long-term direction too which doesn’t involve the Argentine stalwart.

With surgery now potentially ruling him out for the upcoming games, coupled with the competition he faces both this season and beyond, there are perhaps fair grounds to suggest that Musacchio may well have played his last game for the club as if a contract extension isn’t desired by both parties or agreed upon, Milan must sell him this summer and avoid losing him for nothing in just over 12 months time.

Musacchio has offered experience and a steady partner for captain Alessio Romagnoli at times, but it has also come with numerous costly errors which have seen him struggle to fully convince. With his injury setback in mind, it surely at least raises the question as to whether or not we’ll see him in a Milan shirt again.