Empoli director reveals Bennacer ‘did not seem very convinced’ by idea of joining Milan

By Mitchell Wilks -

Ismael Bennacer wasn’t ‘very convinced’ and had reservations before leaving Empoli to join Milan, according to Empoli’s sporting director.

Bennacer joined Milan following Empoli’s relegation from Serie A in 2019 and – according to several reports – is close to agreeing a contract extension with the Rossoneri.

However, Empoli’s Sporting Director told Gazzetta dello Sport (via milanlive.it) that the midfielder had his doubts over the move:

“During the negotiations with Milan for the sale of Bennacer, the player did not seem very convinced.

“But in reality his character as a great perfectionist was only emerging. I told Paolo Maldini what was happening, and I explained to him that at Milanello he would meet an exceptional professional”.

He added that he was ‘happy’ at how things had panned out positively for the Algerian at Milan, having now cemented his place as a vital part in a resurgent Rossoneri side.

Forging an incredible partnership with Franck Kessie at the base of the midfield, Bennacer has become one of the first names on the team sheet for Stefano Pioli.

Milan see him as pivotal to their future, hence their enthusiasm to tie him down to a new contract and avoid losing a player of such a high calibre.


Tags AC Milan Ismaël Bennacer


  1. Maybe he didn’t think he was good enough for Milan and was worried he wouldn’t get game time, not being convinced can mean a lot of different things. When Arsenal let him go and he ended up at Empoli he probably lost confidence in himself, he has changed that around now, no doubt

    1. To put this into context, he was a beast for Empoli, won AFCON and was selected as the tournament’s best player (and top assist provider alongside Kessie too). His career is certainly looking bright and many teams were chasing him. Milan at that time was just so full of chaos, Elliott just took over, Rino and Leonardo resigned, we were excluded from Europe because of FFP. I think Bennacer being unconvinced here is warranted, probably just due to the uncertain situation at Milan at that time. Glad that he made that leap of faith though.

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