Report: AC Milan boosted by return of £29.7m-rated Ismael Bennacer vs Celtic
Algerian International Ismaël Bennacer has returned to training in the run-up to the Rossoneri’s clash with Celtic, according to Milan News.
Bennacer, valued at £29.7m (Transfermarkt), has won 25 caps for Algeria and his return will be a boost for Stefano Pioli’s side.
The defensive midfielder, who likes to run with the ball from deep, had been missing for Milan with muscle fatigue ruling him out of the team’s 2-0 win over Fiorentina.
Bennacer joined A.C. Milan last year for £14.4m from Empoli, having graduated from the Arsenal academy (Football Italia).
The Rossoneri have already developed a 5-point lead over city rivals Inter in Serie A.
With Milan sitting second in Europa League’s Group H, the Italians need a win to potentially cement a place in the knockout stages. A Lille win over Sparta Prague would see both through.
Celtic, of course, have only pride to play for. However, with nothing to lose, the Bhoys should look upon their trip to San Siro as an opportunity to gain some momentum.
A.C. Milan boast a wealth of talent in midfield. Franck Kessié, Brahim Diaz and Italian wonderkid Sandro Tonali all regularly feature in a side that has yet to lose in Serie A this season.
A sleeping giant wakes
A.C. Milan’s fortunes in the decade just past have been mixed at best, and catastrophic at worse. After winning Serie A in 2010-11, the Rossoneri plummeted as low as 10th in Serie A in 2014-15.
Additionally, they haven’t cracked the top 3 in the league since the 2012-13 season.
However, they seem to have found the formula for relevance under Stefano Pioli. The former Lazio, Palermo and Inter manager is enjoying his best Points Per Game ratio in his Serie A career (Transfermarkt).
The club also welcomed back Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimović in the summer. The 39-year-old has already returned a fantastic 10 goals in 6 games so far. Luckily, he won’t be able to play against Celtic on Thursday, as he recovers from a muscle injury (Daily Record).