5 Players Who Hold Key to Success for AC Milan This Season

Matteo BonettiContributor ISeptember 3, 2014

5 Players Who Hold Key to Success for AC Milan This Season

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    Now that the summer transfer window has come to a close, it's time to look at how all these new pieces will fit in and which players will succeed with AC Milan.

    Filippo Inzaghi has a few tricky roster decisions to make now that Milan has considerable depth in several positions. The coach must tinker with the lineup until he finds the combination that brings the best out of his players, allowing them to compete at the highest level.

    With so many questions still unanswered, let's take a look at the players whose success will have the greatest impact on the club.

    Here are five players who hold the key to Milan's revival this upcoming season in Serie A. 

Fernando Torres

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    If Milan want to reach the top three in Serie A, they'll need their new signing to rekindle the form that made him one of Europe's most feared hitmen with Liverpool.

    Fernando Torres will lead Inzaghi's line when Milan face Parma in the next round, and he could hold the key to Milan's success if he regains his confidence and finds his scoring touch once again.

    Torres could find a great linkup partner in Stephan El Shaarawy. The youngster makes darting runs into the box and could benefit from the attention that the Spaniard will receive from opposing defenders. 

    The slower pace of Serie A will benefit Torres, and he could find more space in which to operate and succeed while in possession in Italy than he did in the more frenetic Premier League. 

Diego Lopez

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    A strong goalkeeper is just as important as a top-class striker. Diego Lopez showed right away in his first domestic outing for Milan that he is in another class compared to the likes of Christian Abbiati.

    For one, Lopez's service from the back is much more accurate. He can pass a ball to a midfielder downfield precisely. Other than that, his reaction saves and his penalty stop gave Milan fans a taste of why he was Real Madrid's starting goalkeeper in La Liga last season.

    Lastly, having a shot-stopper of Lopez's talent allows the defense to play more freely, knowing that they are protected if all goes wrong and the opposition has a crack on target. 

Stephan El Shaarawy

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    El Shaarawy will be Milan's most important component this upcoming campaign.

    After missing virtually all of last season with various injuries, he is finally fit again and back to his old self.

    Only two years ago, the winger affectionately known as Il Faraone terrorized Serie A as a teenager, scoring 14 goals in only half a season and putting his name on the map as one of Europe's most dazzling up-and-comers.

    This season, Inzaghi will be heavily relying on the Italian international, allowing him to roam freely on the left flank where he loves either setting up teammates or cutting the ball onto his right foot and taking a shot on goal. 

Nigel de Jong

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    Nigel de Jong has become Milan's most important midfielder with his courageous challenges and calm passes in possession.

    He has been misbranded as a malicious player, but he has shown an underrated grace to his game in always picking out the right pass and keeping his behavior in check.

    De Jong often patrols the area right in front of the two center backs, breaking up any actions that come his way and always showing a tremendous work rate.

    He provides the steel to the midfield and allows the likes of Riccardo Montolivo to get time on the ball to pick out a deep ball. 


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    Right now, Alex is Milan's first-choice defender at the back and probably the most experienced.

    Having played for teams like Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the Brazilian national team, the 32-year-old center back has the know-how to lead the back line.

    Apart from his brute toughness, Alex is formidable in aerial duels and is always a threat to score on set pieces. He has a ferocious shot from long distance whenever he decides to venture forward, and he can anticipate a pass from the other team and break up potentially dangerous counterattacks.

    It remains to be seen who is deemed worthy of partnering him at the back. There are a few different choices with the quicker Cristian Zapata or the rumbling Adil Rami.