By Edward Stratmann.

Giacomo Bonaventura continued to show why he's such a vital component of this frustratingly inconsistent AC Milan outfit in their 2-2 draw at Empoli.

From his post out on the left, the technically gifted midfielder, who has unquestionably been the Rossoneri's outstanding player this season, oozed class and polish throughout, in what was another impressive performance by the former Atalanta star.

His quality with the ball at his feet provided the platform for so much of his side's most incisive work, with his exceptional passing and dribbling yet again combining beautifully to animate his team's work in the final third. Bonaventura demonstrated his creativity in spades on the night, as on top of finding teammates by using his superb range of passing, he also manufactured openings for them with his intelligent movement.

Buy Official AC Milan Jerseys

Never one to sit idly by and admire his good work, Bonaventura's always one who plays his pass and immediately moves, instantly searching to be a viable option for his colleagues as soon as possible. While this is obviously done in part for self benefit; Bonaventura's eternally anxious to be involved, it also works brilliantly to create space for his teammates too by drawing markers' attention towards him and away from others.

Within Sinisa Mihajlovic's 4-4-2 formation, the 26-year-old's tendency to drift infield from the left ably assisted his ability to create space for his associates. Luca Antonelli, Milan's left back and Bonaventura's partner in crime on the left, benefited particularly nicely from this, as the Empoli right-back, Vincent Laurini, would usually follow Bonaventura inside, thus leaving oceans of space for Antonelli to motor into.

Moreover, Bonaventura's capacity to manipulate the Empoli defence with his crafty dribbling, slick one touch passing game and purposeful movement ensured gaps were constantly readily available for Milan's other attackers to exploit. Unfortunately, they, more often than not, weren't taken advantage of, but nonetheless Bonaventura deserved credit here.

With this in mind, it was little wonder why Milan directed so many of their attacks down the left, especially in the first half.

Possessor of a wonderful football brain, the San Severino Marche born maestro's expertise in being able to make quick decisions and execute under pressure, in tandem with his imagination and vision, make him so crucial in terms of chance creation for the often uninspiring Milanese giant. Against Empoli this was no different.

With another dazzling display under his belt, where he also contributed manfully on the defensive end and fittingly rewarded himself by scoring a wonderful left footed goal, he once again made it abundantly clear why he's such a key man for Milan both with and without possession.

By the numbers, his statistics are nothing short of spectacular this season, as per Who scored. He's the fourth highest rated player in Serie A, ranks second in assists (on 6), third in shots per game (with 3.4), equal third for key passes per game (with 2.5), equal sixth for most dribbles (with 2.5) and is level with the magnificent Gonzalo Higuain for most man of the match performances (with six). In addition, his five league goals only serve to amplify his quality.

Italian football expert James Horncastle accurately summed up just what an essential component of this Milan side he is, saying: "Playing for a team lacking in ideas, Bonaventura is their Archimedes.

"Milan's most consistent outfield player last season, even if Jeremy Menez grabbed all the headlines, he has been their best in this campaign, which is some feat after €90m of investment over the summer."

As Milan currently sit sixth in the table, a coveted Champions League spot is still well within their grasp. If they are, in fact, to achieve this goal, their versatile set-piece specialist will unquestionably be the key man.

Without his genius, it's frightening to think what sort of a predicament Milan would be in.

Read more from Edward Stratmann Here.