Who is AC Milan's Player of the Season?

Goal.com nominates the top three stand-out performers for the Rossoneri in 2012-13 - cast your vote in the comments box at the foot of the page
AC Milan season ticket sales hit an all-time low last summer. Bewildered by the enforced sale of star duo Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain in order to balance the books, Rossoneri supporters effectively decided to issue a vote of no-confidence in the club's directors.

However, what initially looked like a season of torment and transition has instead become a season of rapture and rejuvenation. Pessimism has given way to optimism, with the fans' faith having been restored by the cultivation of an exciting crop of youngsters, as well as a statement signing in the shape of Mario Balotelli.

Consequently, while Milan will end their 2012-campaign without any silverware, they are, however, on course to claim a Champions League place courtesy of some stellar showings from two exciting young talents and one wonderfully shrewd signing from Fiorentina.

Below, in alphabetical order, are Goal.com's three nominees for Milan’s player of the season, based on their club performances in all competitions. Cast your vote in the comments box at the foot of the page.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 24 0 2 1 0
Coppa Italia 1 0 0 0 0
Europe 5 0 1 0 0
Others 0 0 0 0 0
Total 30 0 3 1 0

Mattia De Sciglio has been so good this season that he has not only been compared to Paolo Maldini, he has been praised by him. “I like the way he plays,” the legendary defender revealed last month.

Comparisons between the two were inevitable. Like his idol, De Sciglio was born and raised in Milan. Like his idol, De Sciglio is a prodigiously gifted full-back capable of playing anywhere across the back line.

The 20-year-old started the season as Ignazio Abate’s understudy, but he will end it as an Italy international and one of the poster boys of the new Milan.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 32 16 5 3 0
Coppa Italia 1 1 0 0 0
Europe 8 2 2 1 0
Others 0 0 0 0 0
Total 41 19 7 4 0

When Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sold to Paris Saint-Germain last summer, Milan fans wondered where the goals would come from this season. The answer was Stephan El Shaarawy.

El Shaarawy struck 15 times in Serie A before being forced to play a supporting role following the January arrival of Mario Balotelli. Admittedly, the 20-year-old has managed just one goal since and is, according to coach Massimiliano Allegri, emotionally and physically exhausted.

However, that is only because El Shaarawy had spent well over half the season carrying the entire Rossoneri attack on his young shoulders.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 30 4 2 6
Coppa Italia 1 0 0 1 0
Europe 6 0 2 2 0
Others 0 0 0 0 0
Total 37 4 4 9 0

Even Riccardo Montolivo has been surprised at just how well he has done in his debut season at San Siro, the Italy international having arguably established himself as the key player in Massimiliano Allegri’s line-up less than six months after his arrival from Fiorentina.

Indeed, the midfielder has already been entrusted with the responsibility of captaining Milan on several occasions; just reward for a player who has turned in a string of inspirational displays, with his recent outing at a hostile Artemio Franchi the best demonstration to date of his leadership skills and mental strength.

A free transfer last summer, Montolivo is now priceless.