The treatment that Rafael Leao gets from some fans and sections of the media is unfair given his importance to AC Milan, according to Niccolò Morelli.
Leao was the protagonist of the 0-0 draw against Newcastle on Tuesday night as he missed the biggest chance to break the deadlock when he dribbled past two men and tried an audacious back heel that resulted in him falling over.
If you were a betting man – and if you are then you should check out the best sportsbooks in Pennsylvania – then you’d be wise to back the Portuguese winger to bounce back with a goal against Verona on Saturday.
MilanNews have interview Morelli – a sports lawyer and agent – about the criticism that Leao has been getting as well as the summer mercato and the fight for the Scudetto.
What is your opinion on Milan’s summer mercato?
“There was initially a change of management which was rather strong and unexpected and there was immediately this sale of Tonali which objectively surprised everyone but also gave oxygen to the accounts. The truth is that the Italian market is going in this direction, first you sell and then you buy.
“Milan completed some excellent signings in my opinion, even if they didn’t get the goal they wanted as a striker. So the attack could have gone better, but overall they still made signings that could be of great potential. Many players are gambles, let’s see.”
Who do you think can be a certainty?
“Pulisic in my opinion is a very interesting boy. He is a player who can do very well. I’m curious about Chukwueze. Reijnders could also be an excellent signing. These three are the ones who could do very well this year.”
Was the harsh criticism of Leao after the match against Newcastle fair or excessive?
“In my opinion it was the lost derby that caused these criticisms to be made. There was discontent regardless of Leao’s performance. The Portuguese is a champion, one of the strongest players in Serie A, the strongest.
“The criticisms are therefore unfair. Then there was the opportunity to try that technical play [the back heel] that if it had gone towards goal… The criticisms in my opinion are absolutely unfair, Leao is a champion and by the next match everyone will have already forgotten about it.”
The treatment given to Leao at the first bad opportunity is a bit jarring if you look at how other players are treated…
“I think the argument comes from the fact that the more one has expectations placed on him, the easier criticism is. But I believe that these criticisms are also the result of the result against Inter.”
Can this Milan really fight for the Scudetto until the end?
“In my opinion, yes, Milan are one of those teams fighting for the Scudetto. They started the season perhaps with this significant defeat against Inter, but up until then they had still done well. I believe they will be a protagonist during the season.”