AC Milan headed into the new season with the two same right wingers as they had last season in Alexis Saelemaekers and Junior Messias, and they have earned Stefano Pioli’s trust.
MilanNews recalls how there were many targets mentioned over the summer for the role including the likes of Domenico Berardi, Marco Asensio, Hakim Ziyech and even Riyad Mahrez, but Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara decided to back the Belgian and the Brazilian.
Pioli tends to alternate Saelemakers and Messias depending on the characteristics of the opponent they are facing, while the arrival of Sergino Dest – who can also play as a right winger – has not affected Saelemaekers and Messias in the slightest.
Saelemaekers has appeared in 8 out of 9 games this season for a total of 371 minutes played, scoring 2 goals – both in the Champions League against RB Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb – and adding an assist.
The former Anderlecht man has drawn criticism for not being clinical in front of goal but if he keeps going with the current positive signs then he may achieve his dream of securing a starting role at the World Cup with Belgium.
Messias, on the other hand, has taken the field in all 9 games played so far by Milan. The Brazilian has totaled 408 minutes for now, scoring a goal in the 2-1 away win against Sampdoria, and the management can therefore be happy with their contribution so far.