AC Milan defender Pierre Kalulu has thanked head coach Stefano Pioli and his team-mates for making his adaptation as easy as it has been.
The French youngster was signed as a free agent after his contract expired with Lyon, but given his age the Ligue 1 title challengers were owed a development fee of €500k. Kalulu featured in a couple of games during pre-season and glimpses of what he could do were shown but many expected him to feature more for the Primavera than the first team considering he had never played a competitive minute of senior football before his move to Italy.
A season so far full of COVID-19 cases and injuries for Milan meant that Kalulu had been part of the Milan squad in all but three games so far this year. With Milan securing qualification to the Europa league knock out phase with a game to spare, along came the French youngster’s chance against Sparta Praha, and he impressed.
Kalulu spoke to Milan TV about his experience with the Rossoneri so far, and his words were transcribed by MilanNews.
“Clearly my main goal on the pitch is to defend in the best possible way, but it would be nice to score another goal. I hope to succeed,” he said.
On his performance: “I think my performances can only get better. When you play at high levels you are always learning, observing new situations and improving. I always try to improve and it clearly pleases people if they notice.”
On the first season at Milan: “I think the first season is obviously important, everything is new, even if the ball and the pitch are always the same. The first season has a special flavour. I think my first season at Milan is positive, because I had the chance to play. I’ve been involved in two positions and in important games. As I said, it’s a good season but now I just have to improve.”
On Milan’s season: “The team has shown great character both in training and in the match, we have shown great willpower. In addition, our team is very united and even in difficult moments we manage to remain united and overcome difficulties as we demonstrated in Parma.”
On his relationship with Pioli: “It’s nice to know that he thinks this about me. I think his main quality is being close to the players. It’s not easy to be close to all the players, especially with a squad of 23-25. He is able to convey his passion and his emotions, on and off the pitch. It helps you to have confidence in yourself. He knows how to tell us what he expects from us, and we are able to understand it very well.”
On the long wait for a victory at San Siro: “It is important to go back to winning at home, it is not normal not to win a home game in two months. We will do everything to try to break this fast, but Sunday will be a tough game because the Genoa is a difficult team to face. We are working hard to try to get back to victory at home.”