Five Milan players to keep an eye on this season
Mario Balotelli returned to the San Siro on loan earlier this summer with a point to prove following a difficult debut season at Liverpool. The Italian striker scored just once for The Reds in a disappointing Premier League campaign but his record at Milan speaks for itself. He netted 26 goals in 43 league appearances during his first spell with i Rossoneri, and will be looking to show the world that he still has the ability to be a top striker.
Balotelli himself has spoken of his desire to make his return to Milan permanent but he will first have to perform on the pitch in order to seal his dream move back to his native country. He may find it difficult to hold down a place if he shows the same kind of form that he did at Anfield last season, especially with the additions of fellow strikers Luiz Adriano and Carlos Bacca.
Mattia De Sciglio has struggled with injuries in the past couple of years but there is no denying his defensive and offensive capabilities. Despite only providing a total of three assists in his professional career, Milan's #2 has received praise for his composure and determination both while attacking and defending.
Comparisons have been drawn between himself and former Milan right back Mauro Tassotti and the defender will be looking to hold down a place in the squad under new boss Siniša Mihajlović. It is expected that the 22-year-old will start ahead of Ignazio Abate in the first eleven. De Sciglio has managed to make a name for himself within the Italian national team, earning 21 caps since his debut in 2013.
Carlos Bacca is the first player in our list in his debut season at the San Siro, having sealed a €30 million deal earlier in the transfer window. The Colombian striker had an impressive two year spell at La Liga outfit Sevilla which saw him win two consecutive UEFA Europa League trophies. The 28-year-old hit a brace in the Final last season in a 3-2 win over Ukrainian side Dnipro.
Although he wasn't the youngest striker available, he certainly offers a lot to his new Milan team with his pace and aggression being two of his key attributes. Bacca will turn 29 shortly but the transfer fee involved in the deal suggests that Mihajlović intends on starting him up top.
Another new arrival at the San Siro, Luiz Adriano comes from Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk. A key player for Champions League regulars Shakhtar, the Brazilian netted 29 goals in his last 46 league outings for the club.
Although in an arguably much worse league than Serie A, the 28-year-old clearly has an eye for goal and has impressed for Shakhtar in the Champions League as well as domestically. €8m was enough to prize him away from his former employers this summer, and he will be looking to get a starting role in a squad packed with talented strikers.
Exciting young defender Alessio Romagnoli arrives at the San Siro with an understanding of how new boss Mihajlović operates having spent last season playing under him at Sampdoria on loan from Roma. With Adil Rami sold to Sevilla this summer, the Italian defender may have his chance to step in and prove himself.
Fans of Milan will also be hoping for big things from the young man, especially given the €25 million price tag on his head. Undoubtedly one of Italy's most promising players, he will have to fight off fellow defenders Philippe Mexès, Cristián Zapata and Alex if he is to hold down a place in Mihajlović's starting eleven.