Tiemoue Bakayoko has revealed that he is delighted to secure a ‘dream’ return to AC Milan, and that he felt like he would always be back.
A statement on the club’s official website, announced the signing of midfielder Bakayoko from Chelsea on a two-year loan, which could turn into an obligation if certain conditions are met. Bakayoko spent the 2018-19 season on loan from Chelsea, and has now finally come back to the club.
Bakayoko spoke to Milan TV upon officially rejoining the Rossoneri, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.
“I am very happy to be here. I have great memories here. It didn’t start well but in the end the club, the fans and the staff showed me a lot of affection as well. That’s why I always thought one day I would come back. It is one of my dreams,” he said.
On the talks with Maldini and the management: “We talked a few weeks ago and today we met. Everyone wanted me to come back and this gave me a lot of confidence and I was sure I would return to the Rossoneri.”
The 27-year-old joins a number of other French and French-speaking players in the team, such as Mike Maignan, Theo Hernandez, Franck Kessie, Olivier Giroud, Ismael Bennacer, Fode Ballo-Toure and others. It will feel like a home away from home for Bakayoko, therefore.
“It’s nice to see some friends again. I know all the French players on the team and when I decided to come back I thought about it and talked to them.”
Bakayoko brought the best out of midfield partner Franck Kessie during his first loan spell at the club as the pair slotted seamlessly into a three-man midfield, providing real grit and physicality.
On Kessie, he added: “I have a good relationship with him. I am not surprised because he is a very good boy and a strong player. When I left Milan I saw how he has grown and during the following seasons I have admired his great performances. I think he showed everyone his capabilities.”
On the Italian league: “I think Serie A is growing. Every year there are excellent players and the level has improved a lot. I feel good in this league and now I can say that I know him and I’m happy to play there.”
Bakayoko was actually an opponent of Milan last season as he spent time on loan with Napoli, once again under the tutelage of Gennaro Gattuso.
On the match against Milan last year, Bakayoko said: “When I played against Milan I was focused for the team I was playing for. Frankly I wanted to win but it didn’t go well because I was sent off. It was nice to see some friends again though.”
Bakayoko spoke to France Football back in March 2019, and remarked the following: “Five years have passed since Milan fans heard the Champions League anthem for the last time. I want to be at San Siro when they hear it again.”
As it has worked out, he will indeed be there. On the Champions League, he said: “In 2018/19 we missed the qualification for the Champions League by a few points. At the end of the season I was heartbroken but now I’m happy to be back and to be able to play this competition. It’s the dream of all the players.”
On the derby: “I want to win the derby because I didn’t succeed in my first season here. I think Milan-Inter is the most important match and I want to win it.”
On Milan: “Milan are a great club, it’s the first adjective that comes to mind. It’s a club known all over the world. The stadium, the team, the trophies and a legendary history. I’m back and I’m here to have fun and help the team.”