Milan urged to have ‘patience’ with ‘incredible talent’ De Ketelaere by former coach

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan have been urged to remain patient with Charles De Ketelaere by his former coach Carl Hoefkens, who believes he will showcase his ability with time.

De Ketelaere was Milan’s marquee €35m signing during the post-Scudetto summer transfer window last year but never really delivered what was expected of him, scoring zero goals and amassing one assists.

It’s tough to call what the future holds for the Belgian at the moment, but if you think you know which way next season is going then check out the best UK football betting sites.

MilanNews spoke to Hoefkens who is the current head coach of Standard Liège and the man who coached Charles De Ketelaere at Brugge during the summer before he moved to Milan.

Carl, just twelve months ago Charles De Ketelaere was supposed to rock the world and he was the talent that all of Belgium spoke highly of. However, after a dark season we can say that the operation was a failure. How can it be explained?

“In my opinion, you can’t talk about failure. Some players just need time to adapt and for Charles as well as for many others the same is true.

“I’ve known him since he was 13-14 and he’s a player with incredible talent. Milan just need to give him time to settle in, the boy needs it. If he does, we’ll see Charles De Ketelaere’s true potential.

“Unfortunately, however, many teams don’t have the patience to wait and want everything immediately. Let’s not forget that it was a very expensive transfer, the pressure is great.”

Could things improve next year? If he were to stay of course…

“If Milan have the courage to wait for him, the results will be seen.”

In your opinion, have the comparisons with Ricardo Kakà done him more harm than good after his arrival at Milan?

“I don’t know about that, but the pressure has only increased! It’s never easy for young players to move abroad and adapt to a new country, a new language, a new group and live up to expectations.

“I repeat, managing all this is not easy and for Charles it was the first time he has faced all this. In Bruges he knew the whole environment because he grew up in the youth team and it was his club.

“Changing environment is difficult but you just have to give him the time to emerge because he has the qualities, there’s no doubt about that.”

His technical qualities have never been questioned. The real question almost all fans ask is whether he is mentally strong enough?


De Ketelaere was put on the market by Milan. PSV Eindhoven are interested in him but the player would like to stay and silence the critics. Stay or go, what advice would you give him?

“He has to do what he thinks is right but I hope he can stay in Milan and prove everyone they’re wrong about him. Give him time, let him grow. Once he unlocks in the scoring phase and makes his first assist, you’ll see a player incredible.”

Is he the best player you have coached?

“Not only that, he’s one of the strongest players I’ve seen, including everyone I’ve played with in the last 20-30 years.”

Tags AC Milan Charles De Ketelaere


    1. TheDepressedone, this is my reply to you. What did you achieve at age 21? How dare you say he lied? Do you even recognize potential if you see one? All you want is goal scoring midfielder but refused to see how strong he is
      He played in the World Cup which most great players never played in their lives
      Your comment really showed your name as you are truly Depressed
      Baby fan.
      Milan was able to beat Barca 4-0 in 1994 champions league final because of the magic legs of Savicevic but you forgotten he was garbage in his first year
      Milan won the league last year because of Leao but you also forgot he was almost sold
      Learn how to show respect
      Baby fan

  1. Some players don’t just pick instantly moving to a new league. Sarah,K DBruyne is still Chelsea mistake bcos they were impatient. We also have Aubameyang who was sold for peanut at a tender age

    1. Diaz showed something in his first season. Don’t remember him moping around the pitch giving the ball away every other touch.

      1. I agree with many of your takes but this one is wrong. Diaz was terrible and a significant reason Milan struggled with breaking down well organized teams.

    1. So far I have not seen the new Milan with 4-3-3. Only 4-2-3-1 with RLC as trequartista. That is where CdK has played in the last half hour in the friendlies.

  2. CDK should continue to reject the offers. He and Adli should stay. Who knows they could breakthrough this season. Adli has shown early signs of what he can do.If we can give Musah and RLC chance . They also deserve same.

    1. I am pretty sure Reijnders will start almost every game as first choice for his position. Now left with Musah who is still 20 and may require time to settle in so if we will sell Krunic there is a chance for Adli and CDK to get higher playtime. All depends on Pioli though.

  3. In my own opinion S. Pioli should try something new with him and Adli instead of letting them go. After all He gave Diaz all the attention he needed and ended up developing him for R. Madrid.

  4. Putting players on the market is a test of mentality.
    Imo, there are only a few reasons a player would leave.

    1. He realizes that his skills are not at a level to move the team forward.
    2. He believes he is good enough, but doesn’t want to fight for his place.
    3. He wants a better salary.
    4. The money offered is so important, that the player accepts out of love for the club.

    If CDK and Adli insists on staying, I see it as a good sign.

    1. Fifth point: The player has, achieved everything with his club so he is seeking a new challenge in a new country! Like Ronaldo and Lewandowski..

  5. Id give him another year or at least till January. But he must be given the chances and playing in the right position. Itll be a tough year for him with so many new players. Patience

  6. Well said. Some KIDS need more time than others simple as that. I highly doubt (although possible) Moncada was this wide off the mark with the talent and potential of CDK. It’s obvious we won’t give him that time so it’s best he’s loaned out or sold so we can reinvest the money. However in time I think he will fulfill his potential.

  7. This has been said a million times, over and over again, he had a massive change in his life. When a coach and everyone at his former club saying he will come good, that been involved with him since he was a child, I will believe them over any reporter or fan. The most talented player he ever coached or played against…so safe to say, they know what they are talking about.

  8. It’s too late.

    Our squad is massive after our summer extravaganza. We have (I’ve lost count) something like 35 players in our first team squad excluding youth players who do not have a hope in hell of making either.

    We simply don’t have the room.

    You can only have 11 players on the pitch at one time, if we need a squad of 30 to handle injuries or rotations when we won’t win anything because we’ll be dealing with massive injuries crisis and players incapable of playing more a game a week….

    I don’t know how they do it basketball. Those Americans are such socialists when it comes to sport.

  9. Yes we can see his qualities, he just lack of confident, like Leao in his first year at ACM. Wait him, place him at middle position like Striker or even a Regista. He will shows us his talent. Play at mid is high responsibility, thats why his pressure is high.

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