Ambrosini defends ‘improving’ De Ketelaere: “Expectations are high”

By Oliver Fisher -

Former AC Milan midfielder Massimo Ambrosini believes that Charles De Ketelaere is growing, but might be suffering a bit from the ‘expectations’ placed upon him.

De Ketelaere was the splash of the summer for Milan as he arrived from Club Brugge in a deal exceeding €32m, but he is yet to open his account for the Rossoneri with a goal, though he continues to make an impact in the attacking department.

Milan decided to invest a sizeable sum for a player they believe could be a playmaker for years to come, but at 21 years of age there is an element of patience needed when considering that he played in Belgium before and must adjust to an entirely different environment.

Ambrosini spoke to DAZN about De Ketelaere’s performances so far this season, given that the Belgian is clearly still getting up to speed with a new league and a team with lofty ambitions.

“We have always spoken well of De Ketelaere. Perhaps we thought he could be more decisive right from the start,” he said (via

“It is growing, but it is obvious that expectations are high. He is definitely a strong player who is improving.”

Tags AC Milan Charles De Ketelaere


  1. Just like Tonali and Leao he will prob take 1-2 years before really blossoming.

    The hope is in the meantime he contributes sporadically and doesn’t lose confidence. I expected more from him given his exploits in UCL for Brugge but he’s only 21, it’s a new team, new country, new language etc.

    Can see he has some silky technique and a good weight of pass /through ball. Hopefully he increases his physical attributes because at 6’2 he should be able to hold off defenders and also be somewhat of an aerial threat.

    1. Couldn’t have said better than this weight of milsn is heavy it takes time…..infact he has performed exceptionally well since bring new recruit.

  2. I don’t understand the CDK criticism.
    Has he come and light up the league? Well No
    Has he been bad? No. He has actually been good.
    Let’s not forget he came in late into the pre season preparations, also came from a different league, different country. He needs time to adapt. Plus he plays in the most difficult position to fit in on a team.
    Be patient, forget the price tag

    1. In fact CDK arrived in a similar way as Tonali did…. LOOOOONG negotiations and joined the team at the end of the mercato which basically ruined the integration to the team in the preseason.

      Now look where Tonali is after settling in after the difficult first year. Good things come to those who wait. 🙂

  3. Some people needs to understand young players like CDK needs time to adapt.

    Just because he got €35 million price tag doesn’t mean he will make goals after goals and assists on every match right after he debut.

    Give CDK some times to adapt and learn Italian language. I predict he will be a lot better in the second season.

  4. The kid has been doing well and he’s definitely improving, so Milan fans don’t have to worry about if he’ll be a flop. He’s got a serious footballing IQ for a kid his age, as can be demonstrated by his technique, vision, off the ball movement and decision making.

    My major concern isn’t with him though, but instead it’s with the tactical interpretation of the #10 role that Pioli wants him to play. For me personally, I think there needs to be more interchanging of his position during buildup play, especially with Giroud and Saelemaekers. This will allow the team to exploit his qualities more in the final third, qualities like shooting and crossing which he’s very good at.

    The traditional playmaker is outdated in modern football and Pioli knows this, so he must take a more modern approach to the role CDK is given. For him to become more decisive immediately, Pioli must adopt an approach of using him more as a second striker type playmaker.

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