Gianluca Zambrotta thinks AC Milan can secure a return to the Champions League this season.
Milan failed to earn a place in Europe for the first time since 1998-99 after finishing 10th in Serie A last term.
Sinisa Mihajlovic has since taken the helm and guided the club to sixth in the table after 12 games, with a 0-0 draw against Atalanta on Saturday extending their unbeaten run to five games.
And Zambrotta – who spent four seasons with the San Siro club between 2008 to 2012 – believes, while the weekend’s result shows they can still improve, Milan are capable of making a return to continental competition.
“The draw against Atalanta proves that there’s still a lot of work to be done, but Milan have found a certain continuity over the last five games,” the 38-year-old told Tuttosport.
“Milan needed to get their confidence back and the victories gave them that. They also have a playing system that makes the players feel self-assured.
“The team is slowly finding its brilliance again. I think Milan can aim for third place.
“It’s a balanced championship and they can join the group with Fiorentina and Inter to take part in the next Champions League.”
Milan’s next league outing will see them take on defending champions Juventus in Turin on November 21.
With Massimiliano Allegri’s team sitting two points below Mihajlovic’s side in seventh after a poor start to the season, Zambrotta – who also spent seven years at Juve – feels there is more pressure is on them to get a result.
“[Juventus] need to get their points back. In spite of everything, [Milan] are in a positive phase and they will be going for the result,” he added.
“The stadium could be a factor. Playing at home and trying to race back towards the Scudetto, I think Juve have something more to lose should they fail to notch a victory.”