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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- 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
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.
- 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
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.
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
|Ricardo Rodriguez||24||LB CB||Switzerland||81||84||£28.9m||£73k|
|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|
|Jose Mauri||21||CM CDM||Italy||71||78||£5.5m||£36k|
|Nikola Kalinic||29||ST||Croatia||81||81||(on loan)||£73k|
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