CM: De Ketelaere in elite company in Serie A as €23m move seems a formality

By Oliver Fisher -

Charles De Ketelaere was once again decisive for Atalanta as they won at home against Udinese to keep the pressure on in the battle for the top four.

De Ketelaere got two assists today during La Dea’s 2-0 victory, meaning that he is one of three players in Serie A this season in all competitions with at least seven goals and seven assists, alongside with Marcus Thuram and Olivier Giroud.

As is being reported by, De Ketelaere has ‘found his smile again’ in Bergamo. After a complicated season with Milan, the Belgian went to Atalanta with the aim of relaunching himself and demonstrating his qualities, and he is succeeding.

The Nerazzurri are satisfied with the performances of the versatile forward and are increasingly convinced that they have made the right choice by focusing on him in the summer.

De Ketelaere arrived at Atalanta on a €3m paid loan with a €23m option to buy plus some bonuses on top. If the former Club Brugge star continues to perform at this level in Bergamo, they are determined to use their option to buy.

Why didn’t thinks go to plan for the 22-year-old with the Rossoneri? In truth, it was a multi-layered problem that we attempted to analyse.

Tags AC Milan Charles De Ketelaere


  1. Good player. Too bad. Pioli used him in the wrong position and expected him to do things outside of his skillset.

    He never should have been an AM, at least not in Pioli’s formation where the AM becomes a DM instantly when we lose possession.

    CDK will always do better in a 2 man forward lineup where he has freedom to roam.

    Pioli and/or his formation doesn’t adapt to players. Pioli is a bit limited and players must adapt to him. It’s his main drawback. (Oh and weak tactics due to predictability)

    At the end of the day, Pioli is once again the common denominator.

  2. I’ll help with that analysis about why he didn’t do well at Milan: it’s simply because of lack of playing time and trust from a clueless, one-dimensional, no tactical genius coach. Simple.
    Everybody could see his talent and that’s why Leeds and Maldini were willing to pay 30M for him but the only person that saw better talent in Krunic than CDK is Clueless Pioli. Smdh

    1. Seriously, for all the people railing against Pioli for not putting CDK into a two forward line, ask yourself, where would Leao fit into any such a formation with CDK?

      Atalanta typically play a 3-4-3, or a 3-4-1-2, with CDK most often lined up as a left wing or center forward in the three man front, or as one of the two man forwards in the two man front.

      He’s been starting in the left wing spot recently only because their usual left wing, Ademola Lookman, has gone to AFCON.

      Otherwise, if you look at the lineups for Atalanta this season, CDK has mostly been a backup to Lookman or their center forward.

      The problem isn’t Pioli. The problem is where CDK could have fit into a scudetto winning side where the key scorers for the team were Leao and Giroud.

      Leao is a pure left winger. Period. He can’t play as a left midfielder in a two man front because of his poor backtracking and defense. He isn’t an attacking central midfielder because of his poor distribution skilles. He’s really not a true central striker type as that negates his speed and dribbling skills. So the 3-4-1-2, or a 4-4-2 with CDK as one of the two strikers would not fit for Leao.

      CDK is neither a right winger nor is he an attacking midfielder, so he couldn’t play on the right wing nor as an attacking midfielder in a 4-3-3 with Leao on the left wing, as Pulisic has this season.

      So, here is Pioli, coming off a scudetto season with Leao and Giroud his most important scoring assets, pretty much locked into their purest positions as a true left winger, and a true central striker.

      All you smart people out there criticizing Pioli – answer this simple question, what formation do you run that has Leao, Giroud, and CDK in their natural positions?

      Answer – there is no such formation, not if you want Leao as the starting left wing on your team. CDK could be Leao’s sub at left wing at best. And that is in fact what he has been for Atalanta for much of the season when they run their 3-4-3, with CDK coming in for Lookman, their Leao equivalent at left wing.

      1. I see him as a mezzala in 433, a la de bruyne at man city. Maybe maldini see it that way too. Milan would need a rodri-type DM though, which is where tonali…oh wait

  3. And Atalanta will sell him in Premier League for at least 60 milions euros. We make the same mistake we did with Paqueta…
    We have to little patience just when it is needed. We give other smaller clubs the opportunity to make a lot of money by taking advantage of our lack of inspiration and patience.

    1. Exactly. I was gonna point out that point about Paqueta and also Kerkez at Bournemouth who we never even gave a first team chance only for the team we sent him to for 2M to sell him for 20M. That was also under Pioli’s watch. Pioli made Krunic stay for 6 months when we could have sold him for 12M last summer only for us to sell him for 3M this winter. The guy is dumb af and we keep giving him chances that doesn’t make any sense to me.

  4. anyone think Charles De Ketelaere is player who can be starter for big club simply don’t understand football , cdk simply not good player and we really gonna dodge a bullet if Atalanta sign him

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