Many have questioned the whereabouts of Yacine Adli, who has been restricted to a couple of appearances off the bench after an excellent preseason with AC Milan.
La Gazzetta dello Sport recalls how Adli had a key role at Bordeaux last season where he was sent back on loan for a further year of experience. He played as an attacking midfielder, winger, second striker and as a holding midfielder, completing around 80% of his passes and showing an excellent physical condition as he wasn’t injured once.
He seemed perfect for Stefano Pioli’s game and his preseason performances were very promising, but the head coach has since ruled out a role as a deeper-lying midfielder, with new signing Aster Vranckx even getting the nod to see out the game against Sampdoria on Saturday .
Pioli has described Adli as having ‘excellent characteristics’ but fans continue to ask when they will be seen. The fact is that he is currently the third choice attacking midfielder behind Charles De Ketelaere and Brahim Diaz, so competition is a factor to be taken into consideration.
The exclusion from the Champions League squad list, combined with the fact that games are being played every three days, should have seen the former Bordeaux man get some more chances, but so far they have not arrived.
Pioli likes flexible players as seen through the use of Rade Krunic in multiple positions, Alexis Saelemaekers on both wings and even full-back, Alessandro Florenzi up the right side, Ante Rebic as a winger and a striker and more.
Adli also played other positions in Ligue 1, but at the moment Pioli sees him as a playmaker and he must therefore be patient and wait for his opportunities, and take them when they come.