After their victory over Napoli, AC Milan has secured a few days of serenity ahead of their pivotal Europa League commitment on Thursday. The Champions League qualification is seemingly secured at this point, with the club setting its sights on dethroning Juventus from the second spot. “Seasons are as they are, and we should not consider what we could have achieved. We need to focus on the present,” stated AC Milan’s head coach Stefano Pioli according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Despite rumours of Antonio Conte, Julen Lopetegui and others possibly replacing Pioli, Luigi Garlando, a football analyst from La Gazzetta dello Sport, reinforced Pioli’s vital status. “The third spot secured and second in the target, thanks to the sixth victory in the last seven league games. A gear change that has also brought a mood shift in Milan. The usual serious and knowledgeable response of Pioli to difficulties. He is 5 points ahead of the previous season,” stated Garlando.
One key dynamic that has been integral to Milan’s recent success is the potent link-up play between left-side duo Leao and Theo Hernandez. Stefano Pioli has praised the chemistry between Portuguese forward Rafael Leao and French full-back Theo Hernandez saying, “They feel each other, sniff each other, know each other, kiss each other, I kiss them too when they score goals.”
Despite his goal drought, Rafael Leao, in the eyes of his teammate Hernandez is an invaluable asset. Hernandez was quoted saying, “Leao is an incredible player. Even when he doesn’t score, he provides assists. People do not see the work he does every day on the field, and we are happy to have him like this.”
Whether you like it or not, Rafael Leao, AC Milan’s forward is indeed a player whose value cannot be measured in numerical terms. Sometimes frustrating but when he accelerates, it’s nearly illegal, summarized one of the player ratings on Champions League away game against Dortmund.
Fabio Mandarini, a journalist of Corriere dello Sport, analysed the direct comparison that spiced Milan-Napoli match and proclaimed the quietly lurking panther, Leao who always chooses the right moment to scratch, as the winner compared to Kvaratskheila.
There have been speculations that Leao’s symbolic style of play may soon be recognised if Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) decides to allocate some of the funds received from a potential sale of Kylian Mbappé to Real Madrid towards securing the services of the AC Milan striker. Repubblica has reported that PSG is ready to pay €120m to sign Victor Osimhen, with the Nigerian once declared that the best right foot in Serie A is indeed Leao’s. The prospect of seeing the two together is indeed a tantalising thought.