Locatelli opens up on the ‘real disappointment’ of leaving Milan: “I had lost faith in myself”

By Oliver Fisher -

Manuel Locatelli once again had a lot of positive things to say when asked about his experience at AC Milan before being sold to Sassuolo.

Locatelli joined Milan from Atalanta’s academy system in 2009 as an 11-year-old, and spent nine years at the club prior to leaving in summer 2018, but his exit came after he exploded onto the scene by scoring a couple of memorable goals including a winner against Juventus at San Siro.

However, things went downhill from there as Lucas Biglia arrived and Locatelli lost his spot, eventually moving to Sassuolo where he has since established himself as a key member of the starting XI, particularly under current boss De Zerbi.

He left San Siro to join the Neroverdi on a paid loan deal with an obligation to purchase the Primavera product outright, an option they ended up exercising.

Locatelli spoke during an interview with newspaper il Corriere dello Sport and returned to talk about the experience he had at Milan.

“Positive experience because I trained with great players, I made my debut in Serie A and I felt the thrill down your spine that gives you scoring at San Siro against Juventus,” he said (via MilanLive).

“Everything came quickly, I almost didn’t enjoy it and for this reason the moment of farewell to Milan was heavy, a real disappointment. I had lost faith in myself and I found it thanks to Sassuolo.”

The midfielder also spoke about De Zerbi and how the Sassuolo coach has helped him to grow a lot as a player.

“He helped me to grow both on a technical-tactical and human level. I have matured. But between us there were not only roses and flowers, also arguments. Indeed, real quarrels . After those confrontations I was angry with him, then I realised that he was telling me certain things to make me grow.

“I thought I had to play all the time, instead I found myself on the bench, often after being scolded in training. I didn’t understand that the problem was me, not the coach.”

Locatelli continues to be linked with a number of big clubs both domestically and abroad, and now he feels ready to take the nexr step.

“Yes. I have grown up and I am ready. Call from abroad? Why not? It is an option and I do not exclude anything. I don’t like to talk much about the transfer market, my agents and the Sassuolo management deal with it.

“I don’t know if this will be my last year here and what the future holds for me. When and if there are opportunities, we will evaluate them all together. Attestations of esteem and interest from large companies increase my motivation.”

READ MORE: Milan determined to sign a new winger – three targets and what they must guarantee

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