GdS: Leao’s two head coaches remind him that he remains a work in progress

By Oliver Fisher -

The words of Rafael Leao’s two head coaches during the past week have served as a reminder that the winger remains a work in progress, a report claims.

La Gazzetta dello Sport recall that Leao is yet to start a game at the current World Cup despite scoring a goal within three minutes of his first substitute appearance and after scoring within five minutes of the 6-1 last 16 win over Switzerland. Joao Felix remains the man Fernando Santos prefers, but he has his reasons.

There are reflections that inevitably also extend to Milan and the management of Leao at the hands of Pioli, given that the winger has a guaranteed starting spot with the Rossoneri and he is allowed a certain freedom with which to operate.

However, Pioli himself said earlier in the week that while Leao’s qualities are obviously indisputable, there is plenty to work on.

“I think he has to take one more leap to become a champion,” he said. “There are times when he is in the middle and others when he ducks too much, such attacking players have to stay closer to the area… He can become even more decisive in the opposing area… I want him to close more at the far post, I always tell him that… He should have more impact.”

All of those quotes from the Milan boss are a reminder that – despite the fact Leao has 7 goals and 7 assists so far this season – he is not the finished product. The proof might have come from the fact the Portugal coach has only put him on the field for 62 minutes in four appearances.

It means that in the eyes of those who manage Leao they see him as a work in progress. Pioli said on his future: “I’m sure Leao is fine with us, because I see it and I feel it. I love Rafa and I think his journey with Milan isn’t over yet.”

Paolo Maldini recently stated: “Rafa understands that the path in the next few years must be in Milan.” The negotiation for the renewal is complex and the parties are still quite distant, but so is the road for Leao to become a fully completed player.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao


  1. “The words of Rafael Leao's two head coaches during the past week have served as a reminder that the winger remains a work in progress, a report claims.”

    Meanwhile here: “Some delusional fans at think Leao is a complete player and one of the GOATs already.”

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