Perhaps even Pierre Kalulu would have been surprised when learning he would be making his professional debut against Sparta Praha on Thursday.
As MilanNews reports, in past years the idea of changing so many players from the ‘usual’ starting XI – even for a game with very little at stake – would have often resulted in a negative result as well as performances that are anything but excellent by those players who were thrown into a one-off.
Despite this, the management’s approach is clear: every purchase is thought out and reasoned, even those of young players on a free transfer, and that is why Kalulu was trusted in the Czech capital.
Kalulu will probably not yet be ready to be a starter any time soon, but the same was said about Matteo Gabbia a year ago, and he has come on leaps and bounds since.
The Frenchman – who joined from Lyon in the summer – was part of a back four that was completely changed and he was the one who seemed to hold it together at times in the heart of it.
When he arrived at the club many were quick to brand Kalulu a right-back, perhaps without realising that he also played centre-back for Lyon in the Youth League. Pioli’s decision to play him in the middle was evidently the result of work done at Milanello in recent months.
There is still a long way to go, taking into account that the boy is talented and can grow, with the concrete possibility of becoming another reliable option.