GdS: Brahim’s purple patch vs. De Ketelaere’s desire for redemption – Pioli faces a dilemma

By Oliver Fisher -

Something which did not seem likely heading into October has become a reality as Brahim Diaz is ahead of Charles De Ketelaere in Stefano Pioli’s hierarchy, a report claims.

According to a report from La Gazzetta dello Sport, there is a battle between the Spaniard (who is favoured) and the Belgian to be the starting playmaker in the game against Red Bull Salzburg, one which will say a lot about the current pecking order given the magnitude of the game.

Pioli is currently expected to put his faith in Brahim Diaz, who showed more in his first half performance against Torino than De Ketelaere did off the bench given he should have had one or maybe two assists that Rafael Leao wasted.

At the moment the Real Madrid loanee seems ‘more ready for the international stage’ even though CDK has experience of the big Champions League nights with Brugge, because Brahim is ‘probably in the best period of his Rossoneri career’ so far.

He has already scored 4 goals in the league and has contributed to more than that, while this might also be the perfect chance to evaluate if he is really worth the €22m that must be paid to Real Madrid to buy him permanently.

However, there are also reasons to start De Ketelaere. While dropping him to the bench would be a statement, at worst it means the 21-year-old will be able to slip temporarily to the second row waiting to regain form in 2023 after the World Cup.

However, the risk of a psychological backlash in the event that he sees his team-mates flourish is legitimate. He does not deserve an automatic starting spot because he was the most expensive purchase of the summer and because of how long Maldini and Massara negotiated to sign him, because this is not the philosophy and mentality of the coach and the management.

A little more patience will certainly be needed towards De Ketelaere, with plenty of protection coming from Pioli in the media while waiting for that breakout moment. Who knows that it might not come on Wednesday night.

Tags AC Milan Brahim Diaz Charles De Ketelaere


  1. 1) Diaz
    2) Krunic
    3) Rebic
    4) CDK

    That should be the pecking order in Salzburg match’s #10. Fielding CDK would be like playing with 10 men.

      1. Bricks for feet but still scores when he gets a chance. Even with bricks for feet he’s still more useful than CDK at his current state. Go ahead, prove me wrong! 🙂

    1. Rebic should never be played as a play maker. Rebic only role should be a destroyer/poacher as a CF he has made it clear he has no technical quality just energy and love for the club

      1. Not as a classical playmaker #10 but the guy next to the main striker. Making room for Giroud/Origi and scoring when he gets the chance.

        And even still as crappy as Rebic is (based on your claims) there’s no denying that he’d still do better than CDK who has no business to go on the pitch in his current state.

  2. The game last night showed why CDK is a much better fit as a 10 than Diaz. Even with CDK doing zero his size alone offers more than Diaz being so easily out positioned

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