Charles De Ketelaere got his first league start in over four months against Sassuolo yesterday, but the jury is still out after a game that will be remembered more for the defensive collapse at the other end.
La Gazzetta dello Sport recall how everything looked very promising because when the clock reached two minutes and a handful of seconds, De Ketelaere received the ball in midfield, turned and ran away between Obiang and Laurentié like a skier between the slalom posts.
Many hoped and believed that it could be the start of a game that then became a breakout performance, a whole 16 weeks after his last start in Empoli 1-3 Milan on 1 October, and for a Milan side desperately looking to get out of a quagmire.
However, the Belgian disappeared with the rest of the team and as the goals flew in past Ciprian Tatarusanu he again became the culprit losing the courage to make things happen. He did not support the closest team-mates, showed poor ball protection and he was removed at half-time.
Many fans considered Pioli’s treatment of his No.90 to be excessively severe, but it must also be mentioned that the head coach was completely losing control of a game in which there was an obligation to win, so he observed the inconsistency of the player who should bring imagination and effectiveness in the attacking phase to make changes.
Brahim Diaz – although he remains an inconsistent player – still seems to be meaner and more lively player than CDK. If Pioli really switches to a 4-3-3 formation against Inter, the Spaniard appears more suitable than the Belgian to play on the right wing.
The De Ketelaere mystery therefore remains and drags along to the tune of the €35m spent last summer which so far have translated into 10 appearances out of 24 as a starter and 1,051 minutes without a goal and only one assist on the scoresheet.