What can we expect from Conti upon his return?

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Andrea Conti before Atalanta-Milan at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on May 13, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Andrea Conti before Atalanta-Milan at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia on May 13, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

Jørgen Aanensen on the injured Andrea Conti and what can he give when he returns to action.

Andrea Conti has been a cause for frustration ever since his arrival from Atalanta last summer. Just two games into the season he ruptured his ACL in training and was ruled out for several months. After undergoing operation, Andrea returned to the squad in March, but as things would show his return was rushed and the right back quickly suffered a sprain to the already operated knee. The result was an additional operation and a new lengthy stint on the sideline. As we still await his reported return towards the end of October, the question arises: What can we expect from Conti when he finally returns?

First of all it needs to be taken into consideration that Conti has suffered two serious injuries in quick succession. Something like that can be career threatening. Conti is, however, still 24 and might have a long and great career despite of his recent struggles. Still, there’s no looking away from the fact that missing over a year of football at the age of 23/24 can have devastating effects to both his general development as a footballer and perhaps even for his whole career.

Andrea Conti before Milan-Arsenal at Stadio San Siro on March 8, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Andrea Conti before Milan-Arsenal at Stadio San Siro on March 8, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

Before his transfer to the Rossoneri, Andrea had a fabulous season with Atalanta, scoring 8 and assisting 4 in 33 games. His performances even earned him a call-up for the Azzurri. As a highly wanted man by the Milan fans, he arrived for €24 million with the addition of Matteo Pessina going the other way. A price tag like that isn’t given to whomever and many had high hopes for what qualities the right back could bring to the team. As things stand, these high hopes have yet to be fulfilled, but it’s all way too early to write him off just yet.

Conti has spent more than a year with the squad, he seems close with his teammates and even took part in the celebrations after Cutrone’s winner against Roma. Conti’s agent, Mario Giuffredi, claimed earlier last week that all his player wanted to do was to repay the affection he has received from the fans, his teammates and the club.

Andrea Conti and Leonardo Spinazzola before Italy training session at Coverciano on September 1, 2017. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Andrea Conti and Leonardo Spinazzola before Italy training session at Coverciano on September 1, 2017. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Even though he’s eager to get back on the pitch, it is very important that both he and the club maintain their cool. He should not be rushed back too early, as the case was last time around. Luckily, Milan possesses the qualities of Davide Calabria, who has been great during Conti’s absence. Milan is in nothing like a back-crisis, and Conti can use the required time to safely get back into good form.

As a former wingback in a 3-4-3 system from his Atalanta-days, it’s unclear if Conti can provide quality where Calabria is lacking it. Calabria, like Conti, is an attacking minded defender, but often struggles with positioning when defending. It’s still somewhat unclear if this goes for Conti as well, but as a former wingback that might just be the case for him as well. However, they’re both still young, and defensive experience is built over time. Before that, the competition, and possible rotation between the two of them, might prove positive for them both.

Andrea Conti during Milan-AEK Athens at Satdio San Siro on October 19, 2017. (@acmilan.com)

What exactly constitutes good form for Conti is where the heart of is the question is. Milan signed Conti as a starter, but his high cost also hinted at his potential abilities, a potential that might be threatened by his recent double injury. An Andrea Conti back in his good old form is a great addition to the squad, but it’s not what Milan paid €24 million for. He still needs to develop as a player and has to work even harder now than before to reach his full potential. With a young squad around him, a passionate coach in Gattuso and most importantly of all a medical team who do their job properly, he might be able to do just that. However, patience is still needed, and if he can remain so, in addition to the club and the fans as well, I wouldn’t put it against him to become a great player for both Milan and the national team.

Because even though Andrea Conti has missed more than a season of competitive football it doesn’t mean he has lost all of his footballing abilities. If Conti can return to his old form he will be a valued addition to the squad. If he can develop into an even better player than before he can become a central piece in the Milan-team for several years. The question is if he’s capable of doing just that. As things stand it can almost only get better for Conti, and Milan might still get their money’s worth. Without knowing what the future holds, Conti returning will be an exciting addition to the squad, and as Adriano Galliani probably would claim it to be: he will almost be like a new signing.

19 COMMENTS

  1. A player whose game relies so much on speed and agility coming off two such serious injuries- I’m afraid he’s going to be a shadow of his former self.

     
    • Wishful thinking more than anything I’m afraid guys. I hope he comes back to his former self, I really do, but right now Milan need to behave as if he’s not even on our roster. Counter examples always exist, but the chances for him becoming a top player are quite slim I’m afraid. Gotta be realistic.

       
  2. I always imagined him pushed up in the middle of the pitch. He was a great player to play as a wing-back but also awesome RM in 4-4-2 formation.
    Like Baresis said problem is that he relied on speed and agility so much and he will have some frustrations adjusting when he steps back on the pitch. But again he can retain all those with a hard work as I know and seen many do after ACL injury. My friend went in US for recovery 3 months and when he came back he was faster than before 🙂 but they did some alternate trainings in gym and he gained even 7 pounds of muscles. So there is a way for him to be even better than old Conti but he needs to have proper advisory and luck.
    Also even if Calabria becomes untouchable at RB good player always finds a place in a team and we all know that there is no much difference in RB, CDM, CM, RM positions from S. Roberto, Kimmich, Lahm and couple more. So good luck Andrea keep your focus and chin up. We are here to support you.

     
    • Very good assessment mate:) and also, even he won’t regain his speed, an intelligent player can adjust his playing style based on his current situation. Perhaps he will loose speed, but will make up for it with great positioning and reading of the game.
      Only time will tell how Conti will turn out, I cant wait for his comeback, even though i’ve always been a fan of Calabria over him, but that’s got nothing to do with this. As you said, most of this depends on how he and Milan will manage his current situation, main thing will be to not rush him!

       
    • I responded to this comment but I dont know why it wont be posted…
      anyways, very good post mate, really nailed it!:)

       
      • Yeah happens from time to time, weird blog this is 🙂
        Tnx for the love man, it means a lot from you. For once I looked up to you and wrote nice and composed comment 😉

         
    • Honestly I don’t really see him in midfield in our current setup mate, not in central-right, and most certainly not as our regista.

      From what I’ve seen so far from the kid (admittingly, not much) he had blistering spoed on the flank, and good fitness and tenacity. I think his defensive game was lacking (as is Calabria’s) and passing game isn’t too great either. So midfield might not be his place.

      He could play as a forward perhaps, but that would only make sense if he retains his speed after this injury, which is unlikely I’m afraid.

       
  3. He’s in the worst situation a pro could ever imagined but i believe his future depends on how his present injury situation is managed by Milan which i would say, it’s been good so far.

    This lad will need a whole season at least to start adapting gradually to his game. He’s a very aggressive wing back with lots of pace and techniques (especially in opponents’ box). His physical condition will definitely limit his aggressiveness (which will get back over time) but his speed can be recovered in short time with hard work.

    Milan should not be in a hurry to rush him back, i will suggest a January return so he could become like a January signing. That gives better assurance and he would play with less fair to help the team.

    I wish him quickest recovery.

     
  4. Whether Conti plays or not isn’t my objective for the team.
    If he plays – all well and good
    If he doesn’t play – all well and good.
    I hope Gattuso has a winning strategy against Cagliari. We can’t afford to slip up. We can’t continue with this rise and fall attitude. W must win. No more excuses for not winning. Do what you need to do to win
    Gattuso get your acts together and do your job.

     
    • Some milan fans are hysterical . Gattuso losses one game against Napoli and he needs to get his shit together. Start begging for Conti who flopped with Chelsea last season. Stop feeling entitled, cheer for Milan.

       
      • Milan2012

        Please forgive my past, current and future outburst. I really wish Milan well. I really do.

        I understand the implication of missing out on champions league. Believe me it will be bad. Everyone thinks Elliot fund now owns Milan. No they don’t they only control the club while Li and his cohorts still own Milan.

        There’s a difference between control and ownership.

        After Milan’s abysmal performance last season and the worry of losing our place in mediocre Europa league, I am very much concerned about Milans future.

        This outburst will not stop and may be some other time I will explain the impact of Elliot fund on the club.

         
  5. Fear of an El Shaarawy, Alexandre Pato fall off. When young players return from long injuries they want quick results and self glory causing sloppy play. I hope Conti is more patient and under Gattuso he regains his form. Sadly afraid, we lost the value we spent on him.

     
  6. I belief ac milan should sell this guy and cut theire losses . This guy was a great talent and maybe he still is but it’s a gamble with the injury’s he had this far , he’s only been on the side line since he joined this club always injured. And too all of you here don’t be Butthurt because this is mine opinion .

     
  7. -This is a personal opinion relating with what I expect-
    What can I expect from Conti?
    Useful but not much.
    What can I expect from Bellanova?
    To be a legend.

     

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