Speaking to Milan TV, Mattia Caldara talked at length about his time as a new addition to the AC Milan squad.

Previously owned by Juventus and having plied his trade last season as a loanee at Atalanta, Caldara joined Milan this August as a long-term replacement for Leonardo Bonucci.

About settling in at his new club, Caldara said: “I’m happy to have found [Andrea Conti and Franck Kessie] here and they are both excellent players. I can not wait for Andrea to come back because he was unlucky and he will give us a big hand.”

On the 4-3-3: “It was a radical change, going from defence with three men with personal movements in the area to a four-man defense. It was a busy month, I’m trying to catch up to my teammates in order to play as soon as possible.”

On his relationship with the other centrebacks: “There is a lot of understanding. Playing with four men requires an identical reading of the situation, sending the opponent offside otherwise it leads to uncomfortable situations. I am adapting to Gattuso’s directions and philosophy.”

On playing his former club on Sunday: “Playing against Gasperini’s Atalanta is complicated on a physical level. To win, it will require the best from our players. We’ll have to run a lot, pay attention to their balls in depth, and to their scheme of play. We will have to get ourselves ready because they will play openly and try to win.”

Caldara touched upon Milan’s involvement in Europe this season: “I felt the excitement last year and everything changed, with international players coming in and Milan adopting much faster rhythms. It will be essential to recover immediately after games because playing every three days is difficult.

“We want to do well in Serie A and the Europa League. I have seen great players win everything at Milan in Europe, especially the Champions League. Therefore, wearing this shirt in a European competition is a source of pride.”

Finally, he reiterated Milan’s aims for this season: “We need to have solid objectives. The first is to learn the concepts that the coach wants, then play with as much continuity as possible and help the team. Milan deserves to play in the Champions League, our goal is that. We know it’s not easy, but we have the players and we need to believe that we can do it.”

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