AC Milan get their Europa League campaign underway against Dudelange on Thursday evening, and Gennaro Gattuso could make one key change to his line-up.
The Rossoneri were held to a disappointing draw by Cagliari on Sunday, and with a clash against Atalanta to prepare for this coming weekend, Gattuso could be forced to make changes and rotate.
As of now, he has opted to go with a defensive pairing of captain Alessio Romagnoli and Mateo Musacchio, but that could be set to change in Luxembourg on Thursday, as summer signing Mattia Caldara has been tipped to make his debut for the Italian giants, as per Calciomercato.
The 24-year-old is widely expected to form a fundamental partnership with Romagnoli moving forward, with the defensive duo of a similar age and highly talented while also potentially using their club connection to emerge as first choices for Italy too.
Nevertheless, it’s taken the former Juventus ace time to adapt to Gattuso’s demands, according to the report, as he’s gone from predominantly playing in a back three to now being asked to play in a back four with the Milan boss seemingly not taking any risks until he feels as though his summer recruit is ready.
In a game Milan will undoubtedly be expected to win, it seems like the perfect opportunity to introduce Caldara to the mix, but time will tell if he does indeed take his place in the starting XI when the team is announced on Thursday evening.
With the Rossoneri battling to get back into the top four in Serie A this season to secure a return to the Champions League, they’ll also be keen to build on their performance in Europe last year and to potentially use the Europa League as another path to getting back to Europe’s top table.
Caldara will hope that he can play a crucial role in making that happen, starting on Thursday.