De Ketelaere outlines why he ‘decided to leave’ Milan and his relationship with Maldini

By Oliver Fisher -

Charles De Ketelaere has once again spoken about his season at AC Milan and what led to his exit after just one year at the club this summer.

De Ketelaere was Milan’s big-money signing after the Scudetto-winning season in last year’s summer mercato but things did not go to plan, as he failed to score a goal and amassed just one assist, losing his spot in the starting line-up too in 2023.

However, the Belgian’s last few weeks have been full of firsts. After joining Atalanta on an initial loan deal last month he netted his first goal in Serie A on debut, then over the international break he bagged his first for Belgium too.

His 2023-24 has started in the best possible way after a very difficult year at Milan, and the attacking midfielder gave an interview to Di Marzio about the past 12 months.

“The season at Milan wasn’t a good one for me, so I decided to leave to play more and rediscover the feeling on the pitch,” he began.

“Now I want to show everyone who I am and I’m succeeding. I’m very happy to be at Atalanta, the start to the season has been excellent.”

He joined the Bergamo club on loan with an option to buy, but he insisted he hasn’t thought about it becoming a permanent move just yet.

“I don’t think about the future, I just want to concentrate on the next match to show my qualities. Atalanta’s objective is to win every match.”

On the possibility of Milan winning the Scudetto and Champions League he added: “Today I am an Atalanta player, I can’t say too much.”

De Ketelaere then concluded the interview by speaking about the former technical director, Paolo Maldini, who was sacked over the summer.

“I had a good relationship with him . Maldini was a great player, he is a nice person and he is also a great sporting director. It’s enough to see the success he had with Milan.”

Tags AC Milan Charles De Ketelaere


    1. Birds of feather Flock together.
      Both of them are not at Milan because they were not good enough to be at Milan in their respective roles.

      1. De Keatelare was not good enough, yes, but he didn’t go through the pre-season. We have a player that was sold for 70M that had the same effect in first season, and Leao was a bit better. But how was Maldini not good enough you clown? Milan won the Serie A and played CL semi finals with that limited budget. The reason why he was fired is because he didn’t agree with the transfer policy, he wanted to sign better players, spend more money. I think even an emptyhead could have figured it out in the past 3 months, but here we go…

        1. I’m pretty confident by now that maldini would have been sacked already last summer had ac milan not been reigning champion which would have been an inconvenient move for the new ownership but they seem to me to want yes men in the management and maldini simply isnt that type of man.

          One thing is if some people are unhappy with some of the transfers done while maldini was at the club and even agreeing with him getting sacked as rotations and changes happens in all businesses but people claiming he was a failure or bashes him really should keep their mouths shut especially in my company off the web because i would not accept that sort of behavior and especially not from people calling themselves ac milan fans as that would be expected from our opposition like inter fans and not our own ones.

          In the end though i think we have done some great incoming transfers this summer and overall has improved the squad.

          1. There is a difference between a fair criticism of his performance and “bashing” him. We have learned that Maldini did very little in identifying talents and was basically the “face” of Milan’s front office. A famous personality and legendary player used to influence possible signings. We can love and respect his contributions to the club and still say he was not necessarily a very good technical director.

          2. Flossonero Theres absolutely theres a difference between fair criticismn and bashing him, neither did i imply he is above any form of critique but the fact that people keeps bashing him around here with name callings etc to stir up sh1t that really makes my blood boil as its absolutely disrespectull towards the biggest club legend ever in the club.

        2. We spent more than any other Italian club this summer. Maldini wanted to sign Arnautovic, Berardi, and SMS. Basically he wanted to abandon the project they had started to try to win as much in the short term. He took his eye off the ball and thought himself above those signing his checks…always a fatal error. I don’t think anybody here is going to assert we were better off with Berardi than Puli/Chuk and comparing this summer to last it becomes clear that letting Maldini go was clearly the correct choice.

          1. You don’t know what you don’t know. You’ll never know what those additions could have brought. It’s a counterfactual after all. I don’t agree that he wanted to abandon the project. He wanted experience and surety hence Berardi and SMS…knows the league and have performed. Same as he did the season before and somewhat continued with the current management. And he seemed to have wanted smaller additions rather than wholesale changes. That’s where the divergence in visions caused the rift. Plus as Scaroni said, he brought them up from a low point where they couldn’t attract talent and now they didn’t need him anymore.
            But we’re here now and so far it has gone well. Just like it has gone extremely well the last couple years with a Scudetto and a UCL semi. We don’t know if the current signings are going to work out in the long run as we haven’t yet reached that point

          2. You are comparing one summer, because I’ve seen you do that all the time. Someone already called you out for using only the things that go along your narrative. But who was in Maldini”s position a year before that? Or the one before that? Who signed Leao, Theo etc.? If it wasn’t Maldini but the rest of the team, who signed the players last season? Because your 2 comments don’t match each other. Either Maldini signed all of them or none, or the team did it. By what you wrote, in that case, Maldini did not make any bad signings.


            Your comments usually – a bunch of bs. You usually negate yourself.

          3. Again making up facts as we go along LOl. Pathetic. So many trolls. “Maldini did very little in identifying talents”….LOLOLOLO.

            Ya sure buddy. We get the drill. All the good signings were Moncada and all the bad signings were Maldini. Does that about sum it up in your delusional little mind? Unreal

        3. And you call other people empty-handed.
          Maldini wanted to sign better players?
          Are you talking about Arnautovic? Is he a better player than the players Moncada and Furlani wanted to sign like Thuram, Taremi, Scamacca?
          Is Berrardi better than Pulisic and Chukwueze?
          Maldini got fired because he was bad at his job.
          You said his budget was limited. Why was his budget limited? Because the man was losing Milan best players for nothing. The Tonali sale and the way the money from his sale were used are the perfect proof that if that unqualified man wasn’t losing players for nothing he would have had more money to spend.
          But as usual, Maldini fans are like Maldini. Playing the victim to cover up for incompetence.

          1. Please exhibit some proof that Maldini played the victim.

            Maldini wanted to sign better players than what he had. Neither Thuram, Taremi nor Scamacca are at Milan (three failures from this management). Arnautovic has a better pedigree than Jovic recently. Maldini was responsible for signing players that brought Milan a scudetto and a run to UCL semis. He didn’t bend to hefty demands by greedy players. He didn’t want to sacrifice Tonali or any other cornerstone player.

            Your version of the story is easily debatable, don’t assess your narrative like it’s the unbearable truth.

          2. What? He made 2 interviews in which he said exactly what I said. Literally. You do understand how the club works? I think this has also been written 28 times since last summer. Who approves the wages and transfer fees? “Playing the victim” – this is what i**ts do when they have nothing else to say. I’m going to accuse you of something without any real evidence but my own opinion. Ignore the publicly said words that are still there. Doesn’t matter, only what you think. Clown!

          3. “players Moncada and Furlani wanted to sign like Thuram, Taremi, Scamacca” ….man you guys are so slanted and biased. If it’s great it’s Moncada and Furlani, bad =Maldini. Btw Maldini and Massara wanted to sign Thurman and Scamacca also.

          4. Have Maldini fans forgotten Maldini crying to the media asking for investments?
            That’s playing a victim.
            If he wasn’t losing Milan players for nothing he would have had more than enough money for “investments”.
            Look Tonali sale as a perfect example.
            Maldini spent more money than any other technical or sporting director in serie A without selling players but he still whined and cried for investments. Imagine how much more money he could have had to spend if he was a competent negotiator and had the ability to sell.
            Good riddance to both Maldini and Massara.
            That fool Massara pushed for Origi instead of Kolo Muani even though the data team led by Moncada was against signing Origi, but according to Maldini fans Maldini got fired because he wanted to sign better players.
            They keep changing the narrative because their previous narrative was proven wrong.

    2. A jibe? We should take a look at whether CDK said that based on his initiative or because he was asked by the interviewer. If it was the latter, then it’s just diplomatic answer.

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