What We Can Learn from the AC Milan Preseason so Far

Matteo Bonetti@@TheCalcioGuyContributor IAugust 4, 2013

VALENCIA, SPAIN - JULY 27:  The team of AC Milan line-up before a friendly match between Valencia CF and AC Milan at Estadio Mestalla on July 27, 2013 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Milan just came off one of their most polarizing seasons in decades. It was truly a tale of two halves. The ineptitude shown until Christmas was negated by an incredible form which saw them gain the most points in the league this calendar year.

Knowing that a few gaps still remained in the squad, the Rossoneri look to strengthen their core this summer. They go into a tougher Serie A next season.

While there haven't been many notable changes with the squad so far, it's worth noting that sporting director Adriano Galliani is negotiating deals for both Fiorentina starlet Adem Ljajic, per Football Italia, and Japanese playmaker Keisuke Honda, per Sky Sports' Edwin Chong.

These two additions would bolster an already impressive attack and give Massimiliano Allegri more toys to play with. However, it's foolish to think that both of them could come—one would suffice.

Overall, Milan's preseason friendlies so far have shown an alarming frailty in the defense. The usual central defensive pairing has been out, giving way to the likes of inexperienced teenage defender Jherson Vergara.

The five goals conceded against Manchester City in the first half were a true testament to how this back line can be picked apart if the right pieces aren't in place.

On a more optimistic note, preseason friendlies are hardly the measuring stick for how the domestic campaign will unfold.

As a matter of fact, it's hardly a test at all considering the usual starting XI is held out for most games or makes a late appearance at most.

Another question for the team will be in the middle of the park.

Will the addition of Andrea Poli and Bryan Cristante from the youth team be enough to truly make a difference at the highest level?

It remains to be seen, as Poli had a mediocre season with Sampdoria after being one of the most highly regarded young players in Italy when he plied his trade for Inter.

In the end, this preseason has given Milan the chance to play top-class opposition as they get ready for a season that'll be one of the most competitive domestically in recent years.