Charles De Ketelaere gave an interesting interview last night after his goal and assist helped Atalanta to a 4-1 victory at home against Salernitana.
De Ketelaere now has two goals and four assists in Serie A plus two goals in the Europa League group stages, which means that in the eyes of many he is finally managing to establish himself in Italy.
After closing his first and probably only season with Milan with zero goals and one assist, the Belgian seems to be finding more chances to shine under Gian Piero Gasperini, in a role and a system that suits him better.
Immediately after the game, De Ketelaere praised his new coach and also perhaps sent a message to Stefano Pioli regarding what was asked of him last season. He spole to Sky and DAZN, with his comments relayed by Radio Rossonera.
“Even at the beginning of the season I did well, then I went through a so-so period but in the last few weeks I feel better. I am very happy with the performance, the victory against Milan gave us confidence, in Poland, with many young players, winning 0-4 boosted us. Today we scored another four goals in a comeback and it shows us in view of the next matches,” he said.
There was a lot of confusion about where De Ketelaere should be playing at times last season, given he failed to really assert himself in the No.10 role, and the ex-Brugge star answered a question on his role.
“Gasperini asks me so much more, both tactically and on technical aspects, to aim and be a protagonist in attack. I try, I feel like I’m growing. Several things help me, but above all the fact that I feel good in this style of play and in the position: you can see it and I’m happy, as a striker I feel good.
“The coach requires many things from us on a tactical level but he also puts a lot of pressure on us, he is always very clear in what he says and this gives us confidence. We are always in the right position, and that’s why we create so many scoring opportunities.
“Am I more physically ready this year? Yes it’s true, although I think that the current position gives me more strength to be able to play. I’m not a player who can run 12km in a match, but I can have a lot of intensity and in this position I can do this more and therefore I also feel stronger in the action I do.”
BergamoNews recently revealed the real figures of De Ketelaere’s move: a paid loan costing €3m plus an option to buy set at €22m and a further €2m in bonuses, thus making a total of €27m. When asked about his future beyond this season, CDK gave little away.
“I’m fine here, I’d be happy to grow again at Atalanta but we’re still in the month of December, I’m not thinking about next season yet.”