CM: Playmaker or centre-forward – Milan would sign a Havertz-esque player in De Ketelaere

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan are pushing hard to sign Charles De Ketelaere from Club Brugge who is known for being a versatile and talented young player, but what role would he take up with the Rossoneri?

Calciomercato.com have analysed the Belgian who exploded in the 2021-22 season scoring a total of 18 goals with 14 coming in the league and 4 coming in other competitions, which was a big increase from his first two seasons.

In terms of his movements, technique, his stronger foot and his height, the piece mentions that imagining where De Ketelaere would play for Milan is not far off trying to fathom how Kai Havertz would operate under Stefano Pioli’s orders.

Could De Ketelaere play wide on the right as an inverted winger, given he is left footed? It cannot be excluded at this point but should be pointed out that he does not tend to play there for Club Brugge. In fact, he practically never played on the right last season.

So is he a playmaker? It is true that for Belgium – for example against Poland – he has taken the place of Kevin De Bruyne, but they are still very fluid systems at play under Roberto Martinez.

For his national team, unlike with his club, De Ketelaere has not yet played as a centre-forward but that might be because there are already plenty of quality forwards for Martinez to use. With Belgium he has 7 appearances and 1 goal (against Italy) in a total of 242 minutes played.

The Havertz comparison re-emerges again because De Ketelaere, like the German, can play both the role of attacking midfielder and that of a dynamic and manoeuvring striker rather than a static centre-forward.

Under the guidance of coach Alfred Schreuder, who has now taken the place of Erik Ten Hag on the Ajax bench, De Ketelaere actually played up front in a three-man defence (3-5-2). He drops to facilitate the build-up play and uses the runs of Noa Lang and wing-back Skov Olsen in behind.

Just like Kai Havertz, De Ketelaere also scored several headed goals which could be very useful for when Milan need a more direct approach. In conclusion, in terms of characteristics, with De Ketelaere it would be a completely different Milan than the one seen with Hakan Calhanoglu first and then Brahim Diaz.

Pioli would have a much more attacking playmaker, almost an extra centre-forward, but his versatility could help him to develop new game systems and vary the tactical approach.

Tags AC Milan Charles De Ketelaere

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