AC Milan

Milan 2021/22 preview: Transfers, key player, fixtures, new kits, prediction & more

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Milan have several younger stars in their squad
Milan have several younger stars in their squad / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
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Milan will be making their long-awaited return to the Champions League this season after finishing second in Serie A last time out.

They have endured a tricky summer, though, with several high-profile names departing. To add insult to injury, the Rossoneri have often been left frustrated when trying to sign replacements.

What does all this mean for their prospects in the 2021/22 season? 90min analysed everything Milan to find out.


Transfers

In: Fikayo Tomori (£24m), Mike Maignan (£12m), Sandro Tonali (£21.3m), Fode Ballo-Toure (£6.8m). Brahim Diaz (loan), Olivier Giroud (£1m)

Out: Diego Laxalt (£3m), Hakan Calhanoglu (free), Gianluigi Donnarumma (free), Luan Capanni (loan), Marco Brescianini (loan), Frank Tsadjout (loan), Lorenzo Colombo (loan), Alessandro Sala (loan), Gabriele Capanni (loan), Mattia Caldara (loan), Jens Petter Hauge (loan)


First-team squad

1. Ciprian Tatarusanu (GK)
2. Davide Calabria (DF)
4. Ismael Bennacer (MF)
5. Fode Ballo-Toure (DF)
7. Samu Castillejo (FW)
8. Sandro Tonali (MF)
9. Olivier Giroud (FW)
10. Brahim Diaz (MF)
11. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (FW)
12. Ante Rebic (FW)
13. Alessio Romagnoli (DF)
14. Andrea Conti (DF)
16. Mike Maignan (GK)
17. Rafael Leao (FW)
19. Theo Hernandez (DF)
20. Pierre Kalulu (DF)
23. Fikayo Tomori (DF)
24. Simon Kjaer (DF)
26. Tommaso Pobega (MF)
27. Daniel Maldini (MF)
33. Rade Krunic (MF)
46. Matteo Gabbia (DF)
56. Alexis Saelemaekers (FW)
77. Alessandro Plizzari (GK)
79. Franck Kessie (MF)


Key player

Franck Kessie
Kessie is Milan's key man now / Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Following Gianluigi Donnarumma's departure to Paris Saint-Germain, Franck Kessie is now the star attraction in Milan.

He has slowly grown in importance during his four years at the club and is now one of the most complete midfielders in Serie A. Last campaign was his best yet, with the Ivorian converting 11 penalties to register double-digits seasonal goals for the first time in his career.

Kessie gets through a commendable amount of defensive work too. If he has another impressive season the big clubs will likely come calling.


Young player to watch

Sandro Tonali
Tonali joined Milan permanently this summer after initially joining on loan / Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

Sandro Tonali attracted interest from pretty much every major European club last summer, so Milan did very well to seal his signature.

Despite being born in 2000, the defensive midfielder already has three and a half seasons of senior football under his belt. His maiden campaign at Milan was promising but he will be disappointed to have not registered a single Serie A assist.

This time around Tonali should be afforded even more playing time. The 2021/22 season could be the year in which he finally fulfils his sky-high potential.


Fixtures

Monday 23 August - 19:45 - Sampdoria (A)
Sunday 29 August - 19:45 - Cagliari (H)
Sunday 12 September - 14:00 - Lazio (H)
Sunday 19 September - TBC - Juventus (A)
Wednesday 22 September - TBC - Venezia (H)
Sunday 26 September - TBC - Spezia (A)
Sunday 3 October - TBC - Atalanta (A)
Sunday 17 October - TBC - Verona (H)
Sunday 24 October - TBC - Bologna (A)
Wednesday 27 October - TBC - Torino (H)
Sunday 31 October - TBC - Roma (A)
Sunday 7 November - TBC - Inter (H)
Sunday 21 November - TBC - Fiorentina (A)
Sunday 28 November - TBC - Sassuolo (H)
Wednesday 1 December - TBC - Genoa (A)
Sunday 5 December - TBC - Salernitana (H)
Sunday 12 December - TBC - Udinese (A)
Sunday 19 December - TBC - Napoli (H)
Wednesday 22 December - TBC - Empoli (A)
Thursday 6 January - TBC - Roma (H)
Sunday 9 January - TBC - Venezia (A)
Sunday 16 January - TBC - Spezia (H)
Sunday 23 January - TBC - Juventus (H)
Sunday 6 February - TBC - Inter (A)
Sunday 13 February - TBC - Sampdoria (H)
Sunday 20 February - TBC - Salernitana (A)
Sunday 27 February - TBC - Udinese (H)
Sunday 6 March - TBC - Napoli (A)
Sunday 13 March - TBC - Empoli (H)
Sunday 20 March - TBC - Cagliari (A)
Sunday 3 April - TBC - Bologna (H)
Sunday 10 April - TBC - Torino (A)
Saturday 16 April - TBC - Genoa (H)
Sunday 24 April - TBC - Lazio (A)
Sunday 1 May - TBC - Fiorentina (H)
Sunday 8 May - TBC - Verona (A)
Sunday 15 May - TBC - Atalanta (H)
Sunday 22 May - TBC - Sassuolo (A)


Kits

Home: Keeping it simple.

Away: C.R.E.A.M

Third: TBC


Prediction

Stefano Pioli
Stefano Pioli should oversee another successful campaign / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

The high-profile exit of Donnarumma was a real blow for Milan this summer, as were the departures of Diogo Dalot and Hakan Calhanoglu. However, they have operated smartly and patiently in the transfer market to replace them.

A bigger issue is likely to be their reliance on an incredibly old Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His 15 goals were extremely important last season and Ante Rebic will need to produce consistently at the start of the season while Ibrahimovic works his way back from injury.

With several other teams in the top four race getting weaker over the summer, Milan should still have enough to comfortably maintain their Champions League status next season. A title push is probably a bridge too far, though.

A cup run is a real possibility, but their starting XI is likely not strong enough to pull up any trees in Europe this time around.

Top-four finish, Champions League round of 16 and Coppa Italia final


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