CM: Gasperini enjoys what Pioli didn’t – De Ketelaere’s decision paying off

By Oliver Fisher -

Charles De Ketelaere is enjoying his fresh start at Atalanta, something that has been demonstrated through his numbers so far. write how De Ketelaere have two goals and two assists in six games, after zero goals and one assist in a full season with Milan following his move from Club Brugge in the summer of 2022 for over €30m.

There is a difference between De Ketelaere that we saw last year at Milan and the completely different one that we are appreciating at the start of the season with Atalanta.

It is a profound change, in environment and mentality, which led the Belgian to finally become decisive after a very disappointing debut season in Serie A under Stefano Pioli with the Rossoneri.

It is thanks to the work of Gian Piero Gasperini from a tactical point of view and it thanks also to his choice, because last summer a number of different clubs came forward to show interest.

Ajax, Fulham, Wolfsburg and Real Sociedad are just some of the clubs that asked Milan for information. However, CDK wanted Atalanta and joined them on a €3m loan with an option to buy set at €23m plus €4m bonuses and a 10% resale clause.

Tags AC Milan Charles De Ketelaere


  1. These articles are written by people who don’t watch CDK play.

    He has been just as bad as he was last season.

    He is probably the attacker in the Serie A who is the easiest to close down. No right foot. Can’t dribble.

    1. Of course, but stats show something else compared to your subjective opinion. He is so bad there are top PL clubs already sending scouts to follow.

    2. u know who else have bad stats in football. Pippo inzaghi. U know who scores alot? Pippo Inzagi. god that guy is so weak and fragile and has no extra partricular skill. But his timing is godlike

      1. “u know who else have bad stats in football.”

        Pippo? Bad stats?!!! WTF? Have you even looked at his stats? That guy was a living scoring machine. One of the best ever. Bad stats? Maybe for the amount of offsides but that’s it.

    3. @Bruno I get what you’re saying because I’ve been watching his games too. He still looks timid and has some of those insecurities from last year is probably what you’re referring to. But I’d also say he’s also a little bit more comfortable. And has a bit more confidence that he didn’t or wouldn’t have had with us. He also has less pressure there.
      All in all I’m very happy for him to start finding his feet again because at Brugge dude was looking quite good. He just didn’t work out for us

  2. Pls no one should talk about pioli system because that chicken coach has no system whatsoever, when we mentioned system, we are talking about guidelines, principles, order of movement etc, he had used 433, 4231, even 352….so which one is pioli system in all these! Dumb coach….if you want to talk about movement, wait till PSG come to town and you will be sorrowful for believing he has a system.

  3. Somethings were never meant to be. Did you watch CDK play last year? This boy couldn’t score a goal with an open goal in front of him; he looked scared to death. Happy for him at Atalanta and hope they’ll redeem the deal. Let’s move on…

  4. “It is a profound change, in environment and mentality, which led the Belgian to finally become decisive after a very disappointing debut season in Serie A under Stefano Pioli with the Rossoneri.

    It is thanks to the work of Gian Piero Gasperini from a tactical point.”

    It’s the position. Period

  5. Good news. He couldn’t provide in Milan. If they decide to spent 23mil plus his salary, Milan will save the money and can focus shift on strong attacker.

  6. Why all the focus on CDK?

    And not on:

    Darmian Bonucci Acerbi De Sciglio

    Cristante Locatelli Pessina

    Tonali El Shaaraway


    *I don’t care I love him and he scored 2 goals this weekend.

    Almost an entire starting 11 of our former players mostly playing for our direct rivals.

    5 of those players cost us ZERO but we forced them out and spent a fortune on other randomers most of whom were shipped on to replaced by more randomers until eventually we hired a decent coach who took randomers and turned them into champions – and what did we do next?

    Sold half the squad and brought in more randomers.

    And what will we do next?

    Sell half the squad and bring in more randomers.

    With turnover like this it’s not really surprising some of our ever expanding list of alumni find their feet somewhere else.

    I can’t wait to see the 10 year reunion of these players.

    Who are you?

    Oh I only arrived in January you must have left by then….

    Nice to meet you I was your replacement. No not your immediate replacement. I was the striker after the striker after the striker after the striker after the striker.

    I’d like to welcome all our former alumni. Between the 553 of you, you managed less than 100 appearances. True legends!

      1. How’s that?

        If it’s just about the money we made off his sale, we’ll we’ve spent over Eur1 billion in the last 10 years!

    1. De Sigclio, Acerbi, El sharaway, Cutrone … I was sure you were going somewhere else with this. As in “let’s focus on how many bullets we dodged …”

      Regarding CDK, he couldn’t deliver in a top team in his first year in a top league. Simple as that. I’m still very doubtful that Atalanta will pick him up at the end of the season

      1. Acerbi is a key player for Inter who have beaten us the last few times!

        How is he a bullet we dodged?

        The others we have no idea about because they were mismanaged.

        El Shaaraway miraculously put his injuries behind him after he left Milan.

    2. As much as I hate to see you harp on the same point all the time, I must admit it is quite a good point nonetheless. To see this very site and commenters talk.about January transfer window and who to get right after the summer window closes is telling and troubling.

      1. I think it’s the crux of the problem with modern football.

        We simply can’t judge individual players with this constant upheaval. That’s why I generally don’t waste time randomly rating players as hot or not.

    3. Modern football is all about transfers because club presidents, agents and intermediaries all receive a commission every time. They say it’s for “pure capital gain” but it’s personal enrichment most of the time. See PSG with Nasser or Marseille with Longoria or Chelsea, etc. Also, besides English clubs that have hefty revenues from TV rights, most European football clubs have a financial model of selling players.

    4. Of this set of players, all are problematic in some fashion:

      De Sciglio wanted to follow Allegri to Juventus.

      Locatelli wanted to go to Juventus.

      Acerbi was an alcoholic during his time with us. He cleaned up after and made something of his career. Happy for him, but he was not a professional when he was with us. It’s his own story, look it up.

      Bonucci never should have come. He was a Juventus symbol, and more importantly a foil for Chiellini. His mind was never in the right place during his season with us. In other words, Juventus did to him when you accuse us of doing with these players.

      Darmian did not make anything of himself until 27 or 28. Does a club trying to win wait until a youth player is 27 or 28 to see if he can contribute meaningfully? Other clubs thought the same, as he was a bit of a journeyman before landing with Inter. Also note it seems his best position is RWB, something I don’t recall AC Milan using in the last 30 years other than for 2 months last season.

      Cristante is not better than any of or starters. He is like a Pobega+. Nothing to miss here.

      Pessina? FFS. Starring at Monza. We really missed out here (sarcasm).

      SES, I’ve always like him, but I guess the club thought his injury history was too much to deal with. If SES had been our starting LW to this day, does Leao arrive? Leao wins matches by himself, all the time, SES doesn’t.

      Tonali, the only player on this list I wish we still had. Should have been Mike sold to fund the market, not him. Also: If we would have kept Cristante and Locatelli, does Tonali arrive?

      Cutrone, is not gone yet. For the past three seasons we’ve been looking for striker, and I think this season is for sure the last tango in this dept., as Giroud can’t do it on his own. Cutrone could very well find a place next season. He shouldn’t be on this list.

      Also, this past summer gives a completely false impression of our transfer strategy. You write as if we bring in 10 players every July. This past summer was clearly some kind of a reset. The prior summer we only brought in two notable players: CDK and Thiaw. Everything else was filler or future.

      Most importantly: We are in second place, after 4 wins and a loss.

      1. I agree mostly except Damian who I’ve always like since his debut. He can play CB (played as one in the Primavera), LB, LWB, RB, RWB. That versatility is needed in our squad. Plus he did have a good spell at Man Utd (I also watch man Utd games by default as my bro is a man Utd fan). Actually man Utd fans wanted him to stay and didn’t understand why they let him go. And he’s been pretty good for Inter.
        Cutrone reminded me of Pippo. Not great with technical skills or pace but man does he know how to position himself for a goal. I think Milan selling him knocked all the wind out his sails. He probably thought he’d be here longer. So I’d put an asterisk on that one.
        Acerbi has also been good but like you said alot for the times its all about timing. How long exactly are we to wait. Kinda like CDK right now.

      2. Every human being is problematic.

        The challenge for a manager and a club is to bring out the best of the players not to randomly discard them like some kind of fast fashion.

        Being an elite athlete is a serious business and clubs are just not serious. No serious organisation has this level of turnover.

        This summer was not that unique. Maldini signed about 30 players in about 3 seasons. All this summer showed is the new management are as obsessed, if not more, with gambling on the transfer market.

        All this nonsense about moneyball or whatever. It’s just not serious.

      3. Perfect. Although I’m wondering why no one mentions Bonaventura – a guy we never should have let go on another freebie (thanks Paulo).

  7. I was trying to figure out what had happened, what made the difference, and I decided that this great start by CDK was entirely because Atalanta started the season with an absurdly easy schedule.
    The one league goal he scored was in week 1 against Sassuolo, currently 12th in Serie A. The two assists were against Monza and Cagliari, currently in 14th and 19th.
    The other goal he scored was in Europa League against Polish side Raków Częstochowa. Watching the highlights, the Polish team plays a loose defense that would similar to the American MLS.
    Against the somewhat better (top half of Serie A) teams – Fiorentina and Frosinone, CDK couldn’t do very much against the tighter defensive coverage.
    At Atalanta, he’s more or less paired with a player named Lookman, who is by far the more talented guy, with speed, moves and shooting touch.
    So yeah, not that impressive.

  8. It is good if gasperini like CDK. Gasp can convince atalanta management to activate buy option for CDK . I dont think CDK can be good even if he play as CF in 433 or 4231 with ACM , he is good only as false nine and SS

  9. Not surprised given that he’s playing in his preferred SECOND STRIKER position in a two striker formation. We will never play with a two striker formation (5-3-2, 3-5-2, 4-4-2, etc.) because it would mean the end of Leao, Chukwueze and possibly Pulisic. End of story. Happy for CDK, we’ll make our money back when Atalanta purchases him and eventually resells him, and he will go on to have whatever career he will have. Let’s move on.

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