FIFA 18: AC Milan Career Mode Guide, player ratings, tactics, formations & tips

With a summer overhaul and plenty of cash in the bank, can you get AC Milan back to the top of European football on Career Mode?

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

After a summer takeover, AC Milan are poised to return to the top of European football. A massive £170 million was spent during the summer, with the investors getting the balance right between experienced players and promising youth stars.

These new signings need time to gel, with Milan struggling so far this season in Serie A. The club are currently down in seventh in the table, 13 points off top spot. Can you harmonise the dressing room and lead the club to a first league title in seven years in FIFA 18’s Career Mode?

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Team Rating

AC Milan receive a 4½ star rating on FIFA 18, reflecting their 80 overall. This consists of 81 attack, 79 midfield and 81 defence scores. 

It’s clearly a talented side, but they are still a long way from the finished article. A couple more big names and you can launch a title challenge, but it’s not an easy task identifying where the squad needs strengthening.

Formation

AC Milan currently use a rare 3-1-4-2 system, and this needs some slight adjustment. Push those wide players back and spread your midfield to give yourself a 5-2-3 formation. This makes sure you have defensive protection on the flanks and plenty of space to run from midfield. 

In goal it’s the hot prospect Gianluigi Donnarumma. Mateo Musacchio, Leonardo Bonucci and Gabriel Paletta provide a solid back three, with Ignazio Abate and Ricardo Rodriguez the wing-backs.

In central midfield, you have the defensive-minded Lucas Biglia (84 interceptions) joined by the more dangerous Giacomo Bonaventura (86 long shots). Suso and free kick specialist Hakan Calhanoglu (93 free kick accuracy) provide the width, with loan signing Nikola Kalinic leading the line.

On the bench, go for Marco Storari, Alessio Romagnoli, Luca Antonelli, Riccardo Montolivo, Franck Kessie, Fabio Borini and Andre Silva. 

Tactics

The Milan lineup has recently been thrown together so there’s no clear style of play. You should look to get the ball wide to your wingers, cut inside and strike at goal. Both Hakan Calhanoglu (88 long shots) and Suso (82 long shots) can strike from distance, as can midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura. 

Striker Nikola Kalinic (90 positioning, 85 finishing, 85 reactions) is clinical in the box, so look to find the Croatian as much as possible. Swings balls in with left wing back Ricardo Rodriguez (87 crossing) and you’ll be rewarded. 

You have a number of set piece specialists in your side, so you should target deal ball situations. Calhanoglu (92 curve) and Rodriguez (84 free kick accuracy) provide the right and left foot options, with Leonardo Bonucci (88 heading accuracy) the man to aim for in the 18-yard box. 

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Training

Training gives you the opportunity to improve your players, especially those who will not get regular minutes on the pitch. To get the most out of your time, use high growth players as much as possible. For Milan these include Andre Silva, Suso, Hakan Calhanoglu, Franck Kessie, Alessio Romagnoli and Gianluigi Donnarumma. 

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer market: £65.6 million

Starting wage budget: £227,000 a week

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Who should go

With AC Milan overhauling their squad in the summer, four first team players left the club meaning most of the fat has been trimmed at the San Siro. Just one player needs to be shown the door, Niccolo Zanellato. The 19-year-old central midfielder has a 63 overall rating and 74 potential, meaning he has no long-term future at the club. You should aim to collect £500,000 for the Italian, saving £7,000 a week on wages.

With other low standard players Alessandro Guarnone and Antonio Donnarumma having only just joined the club, you will have to wait until January to sell them. The pairing should get you £600,000, freeing up £17,000 a week in wages. We suggest sending the goalkeepers on short loans at the beginning of the season, allowing you to sell at the start of 2018.

Loans

Speaking of loans, look to send Davide Calabria and Matteo Gabbia out for the season. Right back Calabria is currently on the cusp of the first team, so you should aim to loan him to a bottom half Serie A club. As for centre half Gabbia, you should drop him down to Serie B or equivalent as he needs plenty of game time.

Who to sign

Transfer budget after suggested sales: £66.1 million

Wage budget after suggested sales: £234,000

Right wing back

The experienced Ignazio Abate currently holds the right wing back spot, but the 30-year-old’s 78 overall needs improvement. Look to replace the Italy international with PSG man Thomas Meunier. The 25-year-old is playing second fiddle to Dani Alves in Paris, so a move to fellow big spenders AC Milan is not far-fetched.

The right back or right midfielder will set you back £31.3 million and £68,000 a week wages, earning you the 25-year-old’s 81 overall and 84 potential. With skills of 92 stamina, 85 strength and 83 crossing, Meunier is close to the finished article. 

Alternative options:

  • Mario Gaspar – Villarreal, Age 26, OVR 81, POT 84, Cost: £34.5 million, Wage: £33,000
  • Antonio Valencia – Man United, Age 31, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: £27.7 million, Wage: £114,000
  • Alessandro Florenzi – Roma, Age 26, OVR 82, POT 84, Cost: £34.4 million, Wage: £64,000
  • Nathaniel Clyne – Liverpool, Age 26, OVR 81, POT 83, Cost: £30.4 million, Wage: £97,000
  • Oscar de Marcos – Athletic Bilbao, Age OVR 81, POT 81, Cost: £25.9 million, Wage: £27,000

Left winger

In having Suso and Hakan Calhanoglu in wide areas, you lack pace. Bringing in a high-flying winger would rectify this, giving you another dimension to your side. We suggest you go for former AC Milan star Stephan El Shaarawy, who is enjoying a renaissance at Roma. The 24-year-old offers 87 sprint speed, 86 acceleration and 86 ball control on FIFA 18, helping make up his 80 overall rating. The Italian international has a potential of 83 and can be a part of your side for the next six or more years, so a £29.7 million release clause is a great price. His wages of £62,000 a week should remain near enough the same.

Alternative options:

  • Ricardo Quaresma – Besiktas, Age 33, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: £25.9 million, Wage: £59,000
  • Sofiane Boufal – Southampton, Age 23, OVR 79, POT 84, Cost: £15 million, Wage: £79,000
  • Diego Perotti – Roma, Age 28, OVR 81, POT 81, Cost: £26.9 million, Wage: £73,000
  • Andre Schurrle – Borussia Dortmund, Age 26, OVR 80, POT 81, Cost: £27.3 million, Wage: £58,000
  • Franck Ribery – Bayern Munich, Age 34, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £28.3 million, Wage: £132,000

Contracts

Five players have contracts running out at the end of the season, and you should renew three of them. Patrick Cutrone has a great future, with his 70 overall set to rise to 85. You will want to keep the 19-year-old striker at the club for a long time so slap him with a new four-year contract at the minimum.

Gabriel Paletta and goalkeeper Gabriel are useful men to have around the squad during this transitional period so make sure you extend their deals by a couple of years.

Luca Antonelli’s future is in the balance, with the 30-year-old left back now back-up to new signing Ricardo Rodriguez. Perhaps give him a one year contract and look to bring in young talent next season.

Marco Storari has only just joined the club and is an experienced back-up to the talented Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal. The 40-year-old is likely to retire at the end of the season, but at his age there is little point in keeping him.

Managerial objectives

As the boss of AC Milan, the board will expect you to achieve a number of goals. The most important is brand exposure, for which you will need to gain £106 million from shirt sales over the season. This can be accomplished by bringing in big names, scoring goals with your star players and maintaining great form on the pitch.

Your domestic success goal has a high importance and you’ll need to both reach the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia and earn a Champions Cup place in the league. This may look like a low expectation, but with the club going four years without Champions League football, the priority has to be getting back in to Europe’s elite competition. 

Continental success is also marked as high importance, and this is where the pressure comes. The board want you to win the Euro League, a very tough ask given the length of the competition. Given the low bar set in terms of domestic action, this is achievable.

For youth development, which has a medium importance, you will need to sign a youth academy player and play him in 50% of matches next season. Set up your youth networks straight off the bat to give yourself the best chance of completing this. 

Awake the sleeping giant

The money is the start; now comes the hard work. Despite all the money spent over the summer, there is still a mountain of work to do at AC Milan. The Rossoneri still lack top class players in the final third, and that isn’t even your top priority when arriving at the club.

It may take longer than you expect, but you can reach the pinnacle once again with the San Siro club. The potential available to you is huge, and if you can mount some sort of title challenge in your first season, you are on the right track. Silverware is the next step, and after that, Champions League glory may not be too far away. 

Full AC Milan squad player ratings

Player
Age
Pos
Country
OVR
POT
Value
Wage
Goalkeepers
Gianluigi Donnarumma 18 GK Italy 82 94 £47.7m £31k
Marco Storari 40 GK Italy 76 76 £400k £34k
Gabriel 24 GK Brazil 74 80 £9.2m £40k
Antonio Donnarumma 26 GK Italy 66 70 £500k £15k
Alessandro Guarnone 18 GK Italy 59 74 £500k £3k
Defenders
Leonardo Bonucci 30 CB Italy 88 88 £65.8m £185k
Mateo Musacchio 26 CB Argentina 83 86 £42.2m £92k
Ricardo Rodriguez 24 LB
CB
Switzerland 81 84 £28.9m £73k
Gabriel Paletta 31 CB Italy 80 80 £15m £85k
Alessio Romagnoli 22 CB Italy 79 87 £26.8m £73k
Ignazio Abate 30 RB Italy 78 78 £11.2m £71k
Cristian Zapata 30 CB Colombia 78 78 £11.2m £71k
Luca Antonelli 30 LB Italy 76 76 £8.2m £71k
Gustavo Gomez 24 CB Paraguay 75 78 £10.9m £51k
Davide Calabria 30 RB Italy 73 83 £9.2m £45k
Jherson Vergara 23 CB Colombia 70 80 £4.2m £36k
Matteo Gabbia 17 CB Italy 61 76 £750k £6k
Midfield
Giacomo Bonaventura 27 CM
LW
Italy 83 83 £39.6m £101k
Lucas Biglia 31 CDM
CM
Argentina 83 83 £26.2m £73k
Hakan Calhanoglu 23 LM
CAM
Turkey 79 83 £25.8m £81k
Riccardo Montolivo 32 CDM
CM
Italy 78 78 £7m £71k
Franck Kessie 20 CM
CDM
Ivory Coast 77 87 (on loan) £21k
Fabio Borini 26 RM
LM
ST
Italy 76 77 (on loan) £12k
Andrea Conti 23 RM
RB
Italy 75 83 £16.7m £57k
Manuel Locatelli 19 CDM Italy 74 86 £14.2m £31k
Jose Mauri 21 CM
CDM
Italy 71 78 £5.5m £36k
Niccolo Zanellato 19 CM Italy 63 74 £300k £7k
Forwards
Suso 23 RW Spain 82 87 £46.1m £97k
Nikola Kalinic 29 ST Croatia 81 81 (on loan) £73k
Andre Silva 21 ST Portugal 78 86 £25.9m £67k
Patrick Cutrone 19 ST Italy 70 85 £7.9m £30k

 Who have you signed on Career Mode? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020

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