Pioli Muses Over Milan Strategy, De Ketelaere, Leao and Adli

Stefano Pioli previewed the upcoming Milan season and discussed a few of his players in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. He opened by addressing Charles De Ketelaere.

“We met Wednesday and went over some tape to show him our concepts. He was attentive and you can see that he’s very intelligent and understands football. He’s clearly talented, elegant and stylish. Divock Origi told me that he’s a mix between Kai Havertz and Kaka. We have high expectations but it’s fair to give him time. I told him not to rush things. He can become a top player in two or three years.”

Pioli said that Milan would stay the course once Gerry Cardinale fully took over.

“We have proved that we can win with a sustainable project. I don’t think the club can and wants to splurge. Surely, I have never feared the new ownership would sell our linchpins. We were told that the philosophy wouldn’t change.”

The gaffer dished on Rafael Leao.

“I’m not worried about his contract. It’s noticeable that he’s happy to be with us. Potentially, he’s champion for his strength and ability to glide past opponents. He can score a lot more than last season. He has grown a lot without the ball, he has to fill the box better now.”

Pioli also commented on another Milan newcomer, Yacine Adli.

“He’s an atypical midfielder, as he’s very smart and plays vertically. He’s settling in very well. Sometimes he moves even too much, but he’s a quick learner. We shouldn’t forget Brahim Diaz either. I expect a lot from him and I’m very satisfied with him. I want more precision in the final pass and more goals.”

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