Baresi gives thoughts on RedBird takeover, De Ketelaere’s ‘talent’ and Leao’s future

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan’s vice-president Franco Baresi believes that the future of the team is exciting given the amount of young talent present, while he also thinks the new owners must continue the path of Elliott Management.

The Rossoneri management once again made it their focus in the summer mercato to bolster the ranks with young and talented players that perhaps do not carry the same cost as proven winners but can be developed into stars.

Apart from the 1995-born Divock Origi, all the other signings from the summer mercato were born from 2000 onwards: Adli 2000, Dest 2000, De Ketelaere 2001, Thiaw 2001 and Vranckx 2002.

Baresi spoke about Milan in a long and interesting interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport about a number of topics from the incoming owners to tomorrow’s derby, and relayed his comments.

On RedBird: “The hope is that there is continuity. There will be every opportunity to continue doing well. The hope is that Milan will always remain at high levels and continue this project. Since Elliott arrived gigantic steps have been taken, the team has grown, the budgets have improved.

“I believe that whoever takes over will do the same. In recent years we have set an example, with well-made investments, with reorganisation and re-evaluating the players who have arrived. Not only that: in a similar context, the results even arrived.”

On San Siro: “It was my home for twenty years and it will always be an unforgettable memory, but today football needs other perspectives and the stadium asset has always been a goal of the new ownership. Having it would be fantastic.”

On Maldini: “In recent years he has shown his competence, doing a great job. He has invested in young people of perspective and quality, he has formed an important group with his collaborators.”

On the derby: “I imagine a very balanced match, with two teams arriving convinced of their means. We have to be calm and confident in our game, which is what made us win the Scudetto.”

On the market: “The club has moved where there was a need to strengthen the squad. Managers and coach have always been in harmony, the squad has improved and this was the goal. We have the opportunity to be protagonists like a year ago.”

On Kalulu: “He arrived as a full-back and managed to express all his qualities as a centre-back. He has gained a lot of confidence, helped by the team.”

On De Ketelaere: “He is a talent, with great qualities. It will take a little patience, giving him the opportunity to fit in. You cannot expect them all to play at the top level.”

On Leao: “I think he is happy to be at Milan, and I think he can still stay many years.”

On the player of the season: “One name alone would be limiting. If we won the title, it means that everyone has made a huge contribution. The defense has grown, Maignan also, Giroud and Leao have scored important goals, Tonali an extraordinary season, Bennacer has confirmed himself. We must be aware that we have the opportunity to still do well.”

On Pioli: “He arrived with humility, he got involved and in the difficult moment of the lockdown he was good at involving the players to the point of bringing them to the Scudetto, or where no one at the start thought that Milan could have arrived. It is the great merit of him.”

On the Champions League: “It was a good draw. And anyway, Milan must always think of the best. Also last year in the iron group we were convinced to make a good impression, it is an experience that will help us to express ourselves at our best.”

Tags AC Milan Charles De Ketelaere Franco Baresi Rafael Leao
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