The Jewel In AC Milan’s Crown

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After watching Juventus win the Serie A title in each of the last nine seasons, this year there is a bigger chance than ever that we will see a different winner of the Scudetto in 2020/21. At the halfway point of the campaign, AC Milan sat top of the tree with 43 points, two more than cross-city rivals Inter and six ahead of the all-dominant Bianconeri.

While many would point to the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the deciding factor in turning the Rossoneri into title contenders, there is another player who has been vitally important to the recent success of Stefano Pioli’s side.

Franck Kessie arrived in Milan in 2017 at the tender age of 20. The move – which was organised under the stewardship of former owner Yonghong Li – came as the Ivorian had built up a superb reputation as one of Gian Piero Gasperini’s young stars at Atalanta. At the time, there was competition to capture him from Premier League PINC -1.2% clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal, but the former owners won the day in bringing this prized asset to San Siro.

Indeed, in a recent interview, Massimiliano Mirabelli – the sporting director who brought in Kessie under the ownership of Mr. Li – praised the work of Pioli, but was also keen to have it noted that his work contributed to the current success of the side.

“I am happy with what Milan are doing, especially as if you look carefully, half the squad is there because of the work we did,” Mirabelli told news agency Adnkronos. “I am therefore doubly happy to see the fruits of our labour.”

While Mirabelli was certainly seeking to ensure that his efforts were not forgotten, it seems that Milan supporters have remembered the Chinese former owner themselves. In a recent tweet praising Kessie, there were plenty of replies from fans who showed their gratitude for bringing in the midfielder in the first place.

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