Rafael Leao has been on fire at the start of the year and it’s easy to understand why Milan are probing a renewal already. The winger deserves a lot of praise for his recent growth, but credit must also be given to Stefano Pioli.
In four games this year, Leao has bagged three goals as well as two assists and that is indeed very impressive. His contribution on the left-wing has been crucial for Milan, in other words, and they will need to be in good form to win the Scudetto.
Speaking to Gazzetta Dello Sport (via MilanNews), Leao praised Pioli for the work he has done and also revealed what the manager always tells him to do. After a period of tactical learning, the advice is now very straightforward.
“Pioli understood me, he knows that with my dribbles and my moves I can make a difference. Before, he took great care with me in the tactical aspect, I was younger and more undisciplined. Now he doesn’t explain much to me, he trusts me, he knows that I do my part even when the opponents have the ball.
“He tells me ‘Stay wide and challenge your man’: for me, everything becomes easier. I have also played as centre-forward and as a 10, I’m ready to do it again if needed, but on the left is another thing. Pioli thinks I’m like Henry? I thank him for the comparison, we are talking about a great champion, but I want to be Rafa, I want to go my own way.”
Leao is expected to play from start tomorrow as Milan will take on Juventus at the San Siro. Only 5K fans will be allowed at the stadium but it should still be a good game. Either way, it’s a very important one.