Milan, Tomori is back: everyone is now on defense. And Gabbia is a certainty

The Englishman returned to the field after two months. While waiting for Kalulu, who has returned to the ranks, Pioli will have to choose the central pair. The only one sure of the place is the former Villarreal player, who has never been in such good shape

Fik is back. Plain and simple. Stefano Pioli has reunited with his central defender, who returned to the pitch against Lazio after more than two months. Tomori was the big absentee of the last period, stopped by a hamstring injury which affected his season.

all inside

The news is different, however, that Pioli will have all the central defenders available for the first time in 2024. The end of a nightmare. Tomori stopped on 23 December against Salernitana, the match that went down in history for two reasons: the first is because it caused the coach’s bench to creak, which had never been so precarious after the 2-2 draw against Arechi. The second, however, were the words of Gerry Cardinale before the match. Christmas greetings that ended badly in which the owner claimed that he was not satisfied with the team’s performance. The Englishman stopped there, after scoring the first goal, and returned to the pitch on Friday at the Olimpico. Against Lazio a well-deserved clean sheet arrived after eight slaps received in three games.

cage is certainty

Now Pioli will have to choose the central tandem. Available are Kjaer, Gabbia, Thiaw, Tomori and Kalulu, who remained on the bench in the last two matches. He also returned after a four-month break. The Frenchman hasn’t played since October 29th against Napoli. At the moment, he is at the bottom of the hierarchy. The tip of the balance is Matteo Gabbia, who returned from loan to plug a hole but has become an irremovable starter. He will certainly be the first central defender, at least against Slavia Prague and Empoli, also because his performance is almost impeccable. Gabbia has an average rating of 6.5. Since he returned he has started ten games in the championship and cups, making very few mistakes. Against Frosinone he also scored one of the three decisive goals. In Udine he stopped his opponents with a slide. Under “security”, at least up to now, there is his name.

the tandem

Now that Tomori is back in vogue, Pioli will have to decide. He and Gabbia played 18 games together, of which only seven started and for at least 75 minutes. The last one was Milan-Turin 0-1 in January 2023, round of 16 of the Italian Cup, but in a three-man defence. Among the matches to remember is a Milan-Juventus 2-0 in 2022, where the Englishman opened the scoring before Brahim Diaz’s breakthrough. One of Gabbia’s best outings in the Rossoneri. Now the infirmary has emptied. And for the first time, perhaps, there is a problem of abundance.