Massara discusses De Ketelaere’s ‘normal’ struggles, Thiaw’s emergence and Leao renewal

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan sporting director Ricky Massara believes that Charles De Ketelaere’s struggles so far are ‘normal’ and responded to a question on Rafael Leao’s renewal. 

De Ketelaere is back in the starting line-up tonight for the first time since the 5-2 home defeat against Sassuolo in which he was brought off at half-time. With Brahim Diaz out due to a knee sprain and Rafael Leao suspended, Stefano Pioli was almost forced to put him in.

Milan will be hoping to improve what is a not very impressive record at the Franchi across all competitions, with 27 wins in 88 matches and 36 defeats. In fact, they have only won away at Fiorentina twice since 2014 so there is a trend to be reversed, especially after last season’s 4-3 defeat.

Massara spoke in an interview with Sky just before kick-off, with his comments relayed by MilanNews, and he started by prefacing what will be a poignant evening five years to the day since the passing of Fiorentina’s captain Davide Astori.

“I have a memory of Astori linked to football: a respectable boy, with polite, polite manners, who instilled serenity; and also a very strong footballer. A hug to his loved ones,” he said.

Is it finally time for De Ketelaere?

“Normal evolution for him for a young man who arrives at Milan. His growth is palpable, it can be seen in training: he may be showing his qualities already tonight.”

Are there regrets about how January went?

“Now we are happy to have reversed course, the road is still very long and the games are all to be played. Tonight is a very difficult match”.

Is Milan’s recovery due to a changed mentality?

“Mentality and tactics. We have a more compact game and we have rediscovered certainties. There wasn’t a single reason for the disbandment in January. Now the important thing is to confirm that we have overcome it.”

Thiaw is proving to be a great signing…

“He’s a boy born in 2001, there’s healthy and fair pressure at Milan and the boys have to show they can overcome it. The boys will make it, even with Pioli who knows how to get the best out of them.”

Are there any updates on the renewals of Giroud and Leao?

“There are no news this week, but work continues with the agents to find a solution. We absolutely want to keep them for a long time and we are working towards this with the contract.”

Tags AC Milan Ricky Massara


    1. After watching that to night mascara wants to waken up to the truth he just hasn’t got it. But not only him the rest of them to night wer e bloody crap. I don’t no how Masara and maldini can sit and watch that crap.

  1. So many people have used the word “useless” when talking about CDK. Today’s match was one more proof that they are right.

  2. This much struggle wouldn’t even be normal for a 17 year old from our own youth system. CDK cost $30M and started for the Belgian champions. I don’t know what’s going on with him but he needs to be sold or loaned out.
    Giroud? Why bother renewing? We should put his salary toward new purchases.
    Leao doesn’t want to renew. We need to cash in on him while some English clubs are still interested, because the last couple of months he has done nothing.

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