Serie A

AC Milan: Juventus' biggest rivals to change the course of Serie A

The Rossoneri have confounded all expectations this season and find themselves top of the league for the first time in eight years

9:00am on Sunday 15th November 2020
Emmet Gates

Who would've expected Milan to top the Serie A table?

Not many. Led by Stefano Pioli and the insatiable hunger of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan have carried their momentum from last season into this, and currently sit atop the Serie A table by a margin of four points.

This was unthinkable a year ago.

Milan: The season so far

It's hard to argue against saying that the season couldn't have gone any better for Milan at this juncture.

They sit top of the table for the first time since 2011/12 when, ironically, Zlatan Ibrahimovic last played for the club. The Swede has brought some much-needed experience to what is a very young Milan squad.

Milan summer moves in

InFromReported fee
Alexis SaelemaekersAnderlecht£3m
Simon KjaerSevilla£3m
Ante RebicEintracht FrankfurtUndisclosed
Jens Petter HaugeBodo Glimt£3.5m
Brahim DiazReal MadridLoan
Sandro TonaliBresciaLoan
Diogo DalotManchester UnitedLoan

Milan summer moves out

OutToReported fee
Ricardo RodriguezTorino£2.5m
Pepe ReinaLazioFree
Lucas BigliaFatih KaragümrükFree
Giacomo BonaventuraFiorentinaFree
Andre SilvaEintracht FrankfurtUndisclosed
Garisson InnocentCaenLoan
Lucas PaquetaLyon£18m
Diego LaxaltCelticLoan

Milan have shed several high-earners during the last transfer window, many of them hold-overs from the Li Yonghong splurge in the summer of 2017. The club have managed to bring the wage bill down considerably in an effort to reduce Milan's overall debt.

Many of the players who were on loan or signed to short-term contracts last season were kept on this season, such as Ibrahimovic, Kjaer, Rebic and Saelemaekers.

Milan have started the season brilliantly, and had remained unbeaten in all competitions since March until last week's shock 3-0 home defeat to Lille in the Europa League, a run of 24 games.

Ibrahimovic continues to age like a fine wine, scoring nine goals in as many games in all competitions. Milan are also unbeaten in Serie A this season, and have opened up a four-point gap at the top of the table.

Not only are Milan sitting pretty in Italy, but they are also performing well in the Europa League, 3-0 defeat to Lille aside, and are on course to qualify for the Round of 32.

The only worry for Milan is can they juggle multiple competitions at the same time, and can the inexperience of many of their squad make a difference when Ibrahimovic's purple patch will inevitably end?

Milan: Grade A

You can't give Milan anything other than top marks thus far. They really couldn't have began the season in better form.

The objective is to break into the top four and secure Champions League football for the first time since 2013/14, but as of now they are surpassing expectations.

Yet should they eventually lose momentum and relinquish top spot, as long as they stay within the top four, the season will be a success.

But with Ibrahimovic's hunger infecting the rest of the squad, you'd be foolish to bet against Milan winning a trophy this season.

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