Kalulu discusses the ‘importance’ of being at Milan and moulding himself into a ‘modern defender’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan defender Pierre Kalulu is expecting a tough game against Empoli on Saturday night, and stressed that he understands the importance of being at the club.

Kalulu is very much the man of the moment for Milan as the 21-year-old French defender has turned out to be a real revelation for Pioli, who on more than one occasion complimented the Rossoneri talent scouts for having found such a pure talent.

He is still under contract until 2020 having signed a five-year deal when he joined from Lyon back in summer 2020 – his first professional contract – but the hierarchy are already working to present him with a renewal until 2027 with a pay rise from €600k net per season to €1-1.5m as we revealed yesterday.

Kalulu spoke during an interview with Milan TV two days before the game against the Tuscan side, reflecting first of all on the win over Napoli last weekend and looking ahead to Saturday’s game.

“The victory against Napoli? It’s really nice because it was a difficult match against a strong opponent. It’s even more important because I’m our direct opponent in the standings,” he said (via PianetaMilan).

On being at Milan: “I understood the importance of this shirt, of this team, of the history of this club. Before I knew it but not completely. Now I know the importance that this team has in Italy and in the world. I learned how important it is to work every day to be better and competitive in all matches. We must always be ready.”

On being a defender: “I learned to be a modern defender as a child. When I was at Lyon, our coach and the whole club prepared me to be good at everything: technically, with the ball, in speed, with vision… I’ve never always had the same role. First centre-back, then full-back and then yet another role [left-back]. So I know how to play in all defensive roles.”

On his approach to games: “When I go out on the pitch I’m not afraid, I just want to play football well. For me all the games are the same, maybe when the stadium is hot it wakes you up a bit but then when it starts it’s like playing games I used to play as a child.”

On his speed: “Before I wasn’t very fast, I’ve been working on this for 15-17 years. Now I’m going faster, I can still improve on many things but I think I’m at a good level on everything. Even on the offensive aspect.”

On Empoli: “My way of seeing football allows me to always be humble. With Empoli it will be a difficult match. We know that in Italy all the matches are different and complicated, we are working to be ready for Saturday.”

Tags AC Milan Pierre Kalulu
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