SEASON PREVIEWS

2022/23 Season Preview: AC Milan

AC Milan won the Scudetto last season and expectations for 2022/23 are sky high but can the Rossoneri live up to them?

Des tifosis dans une tribune de San Siro

After a decade of underperforming, AC Milan defied the odds and won the 2021/22 Scudetto, their first league title since 2011.

That impressive feat signals a return to the big time for the Rossoneri but 2022/23 poses the question, can they stay there?

The Scudetto was the highlight of AC Milan’s 2021/22 season, it was also indicative of the small margins that determine what is a good or bad season.

Milan finished bottom of what was not a difficult Champions League group and got thrashed in the Italian Cup semi-finals by bitter rivals Inter.

If they hadn’t won the league by a slim two-point gap, the season would have been regarded as a failure… fine margins.

About two months into the summer transfer window, Milan have failed woefully so far to build on the momentum of last season to consolidate their successful campaign.

Their transfer window has been massively underwhelming so far and the fans have a right to be genuinely worried given the struggles they have endured in previous seasons.

So far the big-money addition of Belgian wonderkid Charles De Ketelaere is the only source of excitement and unless they make more signings to actually improve this squad, Milan will face an uphill battle to claim a top four spot let alone defend their title next season.

21-year-old Belgian forward Charles De Ketelaere was signed from Club Brugge for €32 million, two 31-year-olds in Junior Messias and Alessandro Florenzi both got permanent deals after spending last season on loan at the club and Belgian striker Divock Origi joined as a free agent.

The free agent departure of star midfielder Franck Kessie hurt the club, and Alessio Romagnoli and Samu Castillejo also left at the expiration of their contracts.

Fringe players like Jens Petter Hauge joined Eintracht Frankfurt for €10 million and Leo Duarte joined Istanbul Basaksehir for €2 million.

Winning a league title would normally make a team one of the best around by default but in Milan’s case, a little more depth of thought is required.

It is easy to say Milan are back but last season’s Scudetto win came as a surprise, they did it as underdogs and have not followed up with the type of action that would cement their status as a big team again.

On the strength of the current squad, it is unlikely that they seriously challenge for anything in 2022/23 but only time will truly tell.

Realistically, Milan can consider themselves lucky if they finish in the Serie A top four in 2022/23 due to their poor recruitment in contrast to the great business that has been done so far by their rivals.

A top-four finish, qualifying for the Champions League knockout rounds for the first time since 2014 and making a deep run in the Coppa Italia and probably winning it, are realistic expectations for AC Milan in the 2022/23 season.

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