Samuel Castillejo is one of the players who has no doubt undergone somewhat of a transformation under head coach Stefano Pioli.
After a year and a half where he found himself on the fringes and with a possible exit even rumoured, Tuesday’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanLive) notes how the revival began in Cagliari as he took the starting spot from the underperforming Suso and never looked back.
The Spaniard has become an absolute workaholic as the numbers confirm: 688 minutes in his last eight appearances for AC Milan all as a starter, after just 275 in the first fourteen. A stark difference therefore, especially considering the 31 total appearances of last season but only eight from the starting whistle.
It may have come a little late, but Castillejo has responded to expectations and now seems to have a spot nailed in the 4-2-3-1. Moreover, he created more chances (2.3) for his teammates than anyone.
To push the idea home even more, Castillejo amassed 1,003 minutes of action last season compared to the current 961 with still 12 games to play. Another satisfaction for the technical director Paolo Maldini, who on the day of his presentation, when asked who among the purchases intrigued him the most, replied: “Castillejo. I believe that for its characteristics it will be a great surprise.”