De Ketelaere ‘sorry’ about first season as representing Milan was a ‘dream’

By Isak Möller -

Charles De Ketelaere has been a very important player for Atalanta this season, having joined them on loan in the summer. Speaking to the media after the 2-0 win against Lecce, he admitted that he is ‘sorry’ about his season with AC Milan. 

De Ketelaere did indeed struggle during his first season in Italy, bagging zero goals in 40 appearances. As a result, Milan agreed to send him to Atalanta on an initial loan deal, with a buy-out option worth €23m. On our Substack, we have explained what this move means financially.

This season, however, the Belgian has been a big success as he has scored 14 goals and assisted an additional 9 for Atalanta. Speaking to Sky Italia, as cited by MilanNews, the Milan loanee admitted that he is ‘sorry’ about his season with the Rossoneri.

Are you sorry to leave Milan?

“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to do what I have done here at Atalanta, I’ve always had the dream of playing for Milan, but I always look ahead. We had a good season at Atalanta and on Wednesday we can improve it.”

Pioli is leaving Milan…

“It’s not for me to say, it’s not just a question of Pioli. I’ve grown a lot here, an extra year in Italy helped me.”

It’s been confirmed that Atalanta will exercise the buy-out clause and this means that De Ketelaere will leave Milan this summer.

Tags AC Milan Atalanta Charles De Ketelaere


  1. paqueta and ckd.. both lost duo to mismanagement.. but hey, at least we developed Diaz for real. And even paid for that honour

    1. And we are sorry the Milan shirt was too much for you, but for us you will always be the loser that contributed to the sacking of Maldini.

      You took down a legend of the game, not many have had the better of Paulo Maldini, you tore him to shreds.

    2. It’s our management that didn’t want to redeem Brahim’s release clause. He was open to join us… And when played he always give his all on the pitch.

        1. Was he? Iirc it’s true He always wanted to play for Madrid, but he was open to join Milan for permanent basis.

          Milan was keen to buy him but not at price of 20m. And Real was not willing to negotiate cheaper deal, as they were happy to welcome him back.

          He was meh half the time, true, but he also have many moment of magic and he always play with grit, even with his small body.

          But it’s true that Spain’s league suit him better than Serie A. So good luck to him.

          1. he was inconsistent MOST of the time and we constantly complained about that and the fact that he was so easy to nudge off the ball.

            In Real he’s surrounded by better players, so his deficiencies are easier to overlook.

          2. Real had buy back option at 25 million, Milan could have bought him but real decided to bring him back and would have bought him if we did, we’d make 4-5 million. Club let him go back since we have a strong relationship and would like to keep doors open for other deals. Real sent Jimenez over to sweeten the deal

  2. 100 % it was Pioli and the managements fault, Pioli refused to play him, sometimes the management needs to insist on certain players playing, then again at the beginning of this season, the management should have insisted on him staying, and Pioli playing him, Pioli has damaged alot of our players, he simply lacks vision and is a timid and confused man.

    1. What?

      It’s true CDK didn’t work out for us, played out of position, or anything else, but to say he didn’t get chance to play is wrong.

      He was played 32 times at Serie A last season, 9 times as starter. He accumulate 1100 minutes in Serie A. That’s plenty of time to showcase your quality. And his return is merely 1 assist.

      If you argue that’s not a big minutes, just compare with our subs this season. Serie A only :
      CDK – 32 matches – 1100 minutes – 0 G 1 A
      Okafor – 28 matches – 871 minutes – 6 G 2 A
      Jovic – 22 matches – 863 minutes – 6 G 1 A
      Chukwueze – 24 matches – 1011 minutes – 1 G 3 A

      Pioli refused to play him? In the first 10 serie A matches last season, CDK play 9 times (1 don’t play cause injury), 5 times as starter. He accumulate 460 minutes there (maximum 810 minutes, 9 matches)

      If you see CDK played last season regularly, you should realize that he is not improving with us, he stagnated. Almost regressing. So that’s why he lost his place to Brahim Diaz, since Diaz produce result. 33 match, 1945 mins, 6G 7A. Several MotM performances, like against Napoli.

      If you are the coach, who will you play at that situation? Be honest. Almost all fan base think CDK is overrated and overpaid last season. Only because he actually played good at Atalanta this season that many talk like he don’t get his chance at Milan. No, he did. And last season, he failed terribly.

  3. The only thing left to do now, if he agrees to join Atalanta, then we should use that opportunity to carve out a deal for Scalvini, and we pay cash for what ever he is worth…

    1. As much as I want Scalvini to play for us… His transfer will be completely unrelated with CDK. As CDK has buyout clause in his loan contract, his transfer is out of our hand.

      If the management want Scalvini they will need to negotiate with Atalanta, and pay full price.

  4. Actually he is great player, but playing at MILAN are different! Even the coach are not Pioli.
    But, as football fans wishing him a good prospect on the future wherever he play.

  5. All the KID needed was TIME and to be played in the right POSITION….Who would have thought LOL.

    All the fools who said he was trash and a bust and that Maldini should have been fired because he signed CDK sure look foolish now. No surprise there.

    Good luck CDK.

    1. He was in the wrong system. Maldini and pioli should have hashed it out before pulling the trigger on this kid.

      -‘Stefano, I want to bring CDK here. Thoughts?’
      -‘Is he good?’
      -“yes, but he plays in a two striker system. Will you
      change your system for him?’
      -“OK, I’ll bring him in at the END of the summer”
      -“Yes, Sir”

      1. He played as no 9 also. He changed 3roles at Atalanta. Gasperini is not dumb to satisfy with player always in same position. Especially young player like CDK

        There was clear mishandling happened to him within Milan, they should have given him time not just by saying play now.
        When there was a problem to young player, it’s a job of Pioli to make him understand

      2. Agree it was a big ask. With our system his only position possible was the CAM role.
        A huge ask for a young kid new to the club and Serie a.

        Ironically he would have bee a great alternative to playing RLC there every week this season.

  6. I know what I am saying is we already have a pre agreed sum for CDK, what we should do is negotiate for Scalvini, then we top up the remaining some of what we were supposed to collect from CDK

    1. Make sense. It’s up to management to buy Scalvini or Buorgiorno, if they will buy one. Both would be my dream, but too expensive as each would be more than 40m. We still need more area to fix (CF and CDM)

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