How would AC Milan play under Antonio Conte with 3-4-3 transforming the squad

Antonio Conte would transform AC Milan according to his ideas with 3-4-3 being at the core of his football and ideas.

AC Milan is experiencing yet another moment of crisis in this forgettable 2023. It started badly and ended almost worse. Stefano Pioli is under fire as never before. The club has confirmed him for now but more due to the lack of alternatives than anything else. Antonio Conte is what the fans want. Not all, because of his Inter past, but the majority yes. A difficult option, almost impossible due to his high salary demands, and also due to the doubts on the adaptability of the Milan players to his style of play.

The Italian coach uses the 3-5-2 wherever he goes. In his early career he adopted a spectacular 4-2-4, especially at Bari and Siena, before switching to a three-man defense at Juventus and starting an extraordinary cycle of victories. In fact, Conte’s Juventus was also the basis for Allegri’s later successes. He also adopted the same system at Chelsea (which changed to a 3-4-3) and Inter, both of which were also successful. The current AC Milan squad seems unsuitable for that type of formation but how would AC Milan play under Antonio Conte and why Theo Hernandez would the one to profit the most.

How would AC Milan play under Conte with 3-4-3

In this analysis we clearly consider AC Milan at full strength and without injuries. Let’s start with the defense, which is three-man back line. Conte could shape it by using Davide Calabria in the role of right-wing back. The central trio would be composed by Kalulu on the right, Tomori on the left (also very skilled with his left foot) and Thiaw in the centre.

Conte at Chelsea deployed a four-man midfield line with three forwards. And this is the tactical solution that could also best adapted at AC Milan. And therefore, from the right: Calabria (or Musah), Reijnders and Bennacer in the middle and on the left Theo Hernandez, who would probably play the best role due to his characteristics. In the middle of the pitch there would also be the Loftus-Cheek option, but he is more suitable for a possible version with three midfielders. In that case, however, someone from the forward trident would have to be sacrificed.

Pulisic (or Chukwueze), Giroud and Leao could therefore be a certainly sustainable forward trio, bringing the wingers further inside the pitch to leave space for the midfielders, just like he did at Chelsea with Hazard and Willian. The team could thus be divided into two blocks: the building block (the three defenders plus the two midfielders) and the attacking five (the three forwards plus the two wingers). A tactical arrangement that we have also seen under Pioli but only in the possession phase. Conte, on the other hand, would also adopt it in non-possession situations, thus lowering the two full midfielders and bringing the defense to five with the two midfielders also covering.

Come giocherebbe il Milan di Conte

How would AC Milan play under Conte with 3-5-2

Another version, as mentioned, is the one with one more midfielder and one less attacker. At that point, however, the qualities of the Rossoneri wingers would be sacrificed, Leao above all but not only. The idea of being able to transform the Portuguese into a striker, so as to place him alongside Giroud in a tandem, is fascinating, but the former Sporting and Lille player does not have the tactical and mental qualities to do so. But beware of telling Conte that something is impossible.

For the rest, however, everything is the same, with the simple addition of Loftus–Cheek as a midfielder or attacking midfielder. There are many question marks about the Italian coach but in reality Antonio Conte is a coach who is very skilled at adapting to the qualities of the players available and at Milan there are all types, even those to put into practice his football. Today it would be complicated due to injuries and athletic condition, but in June we’ll start again and with Conte Milan could really open a new winning cycle, with just a few adjustments from the market.

Come giocherebbe il Milan di Conte

READ MORE: AC Milan’s worst signings EVER