AC Milan youngster Manuel Locatelli is expected to start against Crotone this weekend, and it could be an important game for his short-term future.
Jose Sosa has replaced the 19-year-old in the starting line-up in recent weeks, but the Argentine midfielder is suspended this weekend which in turn has opened up a spot for Locatelli to come back in.
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After seeing red at Juventus in the Coppa Italia which came in close proximity to a costly mistake in an away defeat at Udinese earlier this year, the teenager was seemingly taken out of the firing line by coach Vincenzo Montella.
Despite calls from a significant number of supporters to bring him back in, Locatelli has been forced to watch on from the sidelines, although his cameo appearance against Inter certainly drew praise.
However, according to Calciomercato, Sunday’s game is going to be of real importance for the Italian ace as it’s suggested that it’s an opportunity for him to prove his importance and maturity, and in turn avoid being sent out on loan to gain consistency in his performances.
Some will argue that there is sense in that move, but especially after the loss to Empoli last weekend in which the midfield trio disappointed, surely this is Locatelli’s chance to shine and prove that he must be a regular starter for the Rossoneri.
The pressure is on now though if these reports are true, and he’ll certainly have to deliver a performance to not only keep Sosa out, but also to ensure he’s still at the San Siro next season and not out on loan.
Meanwhile, Montella is seemingly set to prioritise strengthening his midfield options this summer, and that involves a move for Real Madrid ace Mateo Kovacic, as per Calciomercato.
The report adds that the Croatian international would command a fee of over €30m and there is competition from England, but there’s no denying that he would suit what Montella wants to build as he has shown in previous jobs he relies on technically sound midfielders to dominate possession.
Kovacic would provide that technical quality in abundance, and with Serie A experience too following his previous stint with Inter, he could be a sensible signing. Further, it’s added that Mario Pasalic is a priority as Milan wish to turn his loan move from Chelsea into a permanent one, although this may well be a move that splits opinion.