The Impact of Sergino Dest’s Absence for AC Milan in the UCL

USMNT defender Sergino Dest has been removed from AC Milan’s Champions League (UCL) squad, bringing to an end the young American’s short-lived stint at the Italian giants. The 22-year-old joined Milan on a season-long loan from Barcelona at the end of the summer transfer window, with an option for Milan to make the move permanent at the end of the season for a fee of €20 million.

However, since his arrival in Italy, Dest has failed to establish himself in Stefano Pioli’s side and has been omitted for Milan’s UCL knockout phase squad. This news is sure to come as a disappointment to USMNT fans who were hoping that Dest would have a successful spell in Europe and help cement his place in Gregg Berhalter’s side ahead of this summer’s FIFA World Cup.

Dest was viewed as one of the best prospects in American soccer when he left Ajax for Barcelona last year, but things didn’t quite work out at Camp Nou. The versatile full-back played just five times for Barca in La Liga before he was shipped off to Milan on loan. It looks like things haven’t worked out any better there either and it remains to be seen where Dest will go next.

Despite his lack of game time at AC Milan this season, USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter has continued to call up Dest for international duty and Dest responded by scoring his first international goal against Panama last month. It seems that Berhalter still views Dest as an important part of his team and it wouldn’t be surprising if he continues to give him chances even if he fails to break into the starting eleven at Milan.

Dest is known for his versatility on both sides of the pitch which could explain why he hasn’t managed to lock down a spot in Pioli’s team yet. His ability can be deployed both offensively and defensively, meaning he is often used as a utility player rather than being given an established role within the side. This could be limiting Dest’s development as a full-back, particularly considering how important positional play is in modern football tactics.

At just 22 years old, it’s unlikely that we’ve seen the last of Sergino Dest yet – especially not with the World Cup coming up later this year. Although leaving Milan may seem like a setback right now, it could actually prove beneficial if it allows him more regular game time elsewhere so he can continue developing into one of America’s most promising defenders. Wherever he ends up next season will surely determine whether or not we see more of Sergino Dest and if he can fulfill his potential on both domestic and international fronts.

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