Sandro Tonali is one of the most-wanted young midfielders in Europe right now. He broke into the Italian national team as a teenager and has starred for Brescia, despite the newly promoted side struggling in their Serie A return. A host of clubs have been linked with him, but a move to Milan might not make sense for the Azzurri starlet.
Reports recently have indeed linked the rossoneri with a move for Tonali. The fresh ones state that Milan are willing to offer three players to Brescia in an attempt to lure Tonali. Matteo Gabbia, goalkeeper Alessandro Plizzari or midfielder Tommaso Pobega are three players that they are looking to offer.
Any deal like this will be tough, considering Tonali is in high-demand. But it won’t be worth the effort as Tonali isn’t what Milan need at this point.
What Stefano Pioli’s men need is a ball-winning defensive midfielder. Ismael Bennacer has come across as the box-to-box destroyer. The Algerian did start off as the defensive midfielder under Marco Giampaolo, but Pioli has now been using him as the box-to-box player beside Franck Kessie.
Lucas Biglia, who was the club’s defensive midfielder over the last two seasons, has made only seven appearances in Serie A. He’s constantly facing injury issues, leading to Milan lacking a ball-winning midfielder. To nullify that, Pioli changed to a 4-4-2 but it can only last for a limited time.
That shows why the rossoneri were after Benfica’s Florentino Luis. The youngster is a ball-winner in deeper midfield and adds that steely presence that Pioli’s side needs. While that move would have fit Milan’s demands and needs, Tonali happens to be a direct opposite of Florentino.
The Portuguese has made fewer appearances than average this season and there is limited data for that. But it tells one a lot about his style and approach to game. As per Soccerment, he has made 8.78 recoveries per 90 minutes, using his physicality to very good effect. He makes 3.14 tackles per 90 minutes too. These are the abilities that the rossoneri needed.
But as for Tonali, he’s more technical than physical. Despite being the deepest midfielder for Brescia, he is key to guiding them forward in attack. He’s made only 7.6 recoveries per 90 minutes and makes only 1.19 tackles per 90 minutes. But he’s created 2.2 chances per 90 minutes, while completing 1.41 dribbles per 90 minutes for Brescia. 0.54 percent of his passes are through-balls into the final third.
It shows what sort of a player Tonali is. His comparisons to Andrea Pirlo are valid, even though he does have a bit of Rino Gattuso in him. Tonali can’t play alongside a player like Bennacer- someone who is similar to the young Italian himself. That will expose Milan defensively and that is why need a sitting midfielder and not a dribbling midfielder like Tonali.
There are options out there who can fill that gap. Toulouse midfielder Ibrahim Sangare is an example. Like Florentino, he is a better ball-winner than Tonali and fits the bill of being a young player. Tonali undoubtedly is a highly-talented player, but Milan might not be the right move for him.