Ibra made his second Milan debut early in the second half versus Sampdoria. The first half of the game was largely ineffective in the same way Milan’s season has gone so far. The Swede’s availability this early after signing with having not played competitively for two months was a good sign of his commitment and he partnered well with Leao, another second half sub, but the game ended a 0-0 tie. The team, Suso in particular, had a poor game that once again focused the need for big changes.
The changes may or not accelerate. January transfer rumours have certainly ramped up with many possible exits including Caldara, Borini, Rodriguez, Kessie, Piatek and the aforementioned Suso’s names in the mix. Caldara is set to be loaned to Atalanta. There is little sense in losing another central defender when Duarte is on the injury list but the Italian’s loaning will mean at least one central defender will arrive. He could be a veteran like Simon Kjaer or other surprising name. Earlier rumour mentioning Barcelona’s Jean-Clair Todibo is now dead as the young player joined Schalke in the Bundesliga.
Team strengthening will need to happen somehow, the team’s offense is one of the worst this season. Ibra’s influence and the need for changes may finally become catalysts for a formation change that drops so called wingers. A 4-3-1-2 or other to forward formation may return with Leao and Ibra together. Calhanoglu is the likely candidate to play behind them. The rest of the line up is to change little for now. Krunic struggled versus Sampdoria so a Kessie return is likely, Bennacer and Bonaventura look to keep their place. Calabria, in Conti’s place, was a somewhat surprising week 18 starter. The former looks to line up again with Musacchio, Romagnoli and Hernandez, in front of Donnarumma.
Cagliari led by Joao Pedro and Giovanni Simeone were flying as high as 4th in early December but have fallen to sixth place after losing their last three Serie A games.
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