Rafael Leao’s performances prove Pioli is right

The performances of Rafael Leao since joining AC Milan have been quite disappointing thus proving Pioli’s decision to keep him on the bench is just.

The bench against Juventus was a clear and precise signal; entering the pitch after 52 minutes, with AC Milan without a striker for over half an hour, it was even more so. Rafael Leao has to do more and he has to do better, because what has been seen this season cannot be enough. Even at the Allianz Stadium, albeit with all the difficulties of the match, the Portuguese striker had a rather passive impact on the match thus affirming the coach’s choice to start him from the bench.

With Ibrahimovic injured, and AC Milan in need of goals in Torino, Leao should have done the impossible in training to be chosen by Pioli. Evidently this was not the case, confirming what often happened in the pre-lockdown era. AC Milan paid a handsome fee for the 21-year-old striker, yet his contribution can hardly be considered sufficient.

Just two goals in 23 appearances, a few flashes of talent, multiple opaque and colorless performances. Many of his predecessors have been thoroughly criticized while doing much better, which should make us think not only about the present but also about the future. Can Leao be a resource for the next AC Milan?

Andre Silva and Piatek, despite having scored several goals, left AC Milan after having become protagonists of not exciting months. No regrets, of course, but this must make us reflect when evaluating Leao’s season. The Portuguese is 21-years-old, not 18 or 19. He was not expected to be the regular starter, protagonist and top scorer, but everyone expected he would give a helping hand to Milan.

So far all this has not happened, so much so that there was hope that, after these months of stop, the youngster would be able to raise his head and demonstrate something different. Ibrahimovic’s injury could have paved the way for him but he was unable to take advantage of the opportunity, confirming the previous refrain.

The Portuguese striker still has time to redeem himself, trying to do better in the coming weeks. However, if that doesn’t happen, what should Milan do? AC Milan cannot afford to keep a striker who scores only two goals per season, which is why the former Lille will have to work hard and take full advantage of the chances to come. If this does not happen, barring miracles from the next technical guide, expecting another chance would be a far from easy exercise writes MilanNews.it.

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