AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has made the bold admission that his side do not currently have anyone like Tiemoue Bakayoko in their ranks.
Pioli spoke to Milan TV after the home defeat against Lazio, and his comments were transcribed by MilanNews.it.
“We did not just show heart and courage, we also played well. We missed a bit of attention when we scored,” he said.
“We could have avoided their restart, unfortunately we took an avoidable goal. It is a pity because I liked my team’s performance.
“I didn’t say anything, but I don’t understand why we had a day of rest. This doesn’t change the boys’ performance anyway. We have to keep working.
“Castillejo? Too bad for the injury, he was doing well. We all need to be ready.”
In the second half Pioli took a gamble by removing midfielder Lucas Paqueta in favour of Rafael Leao, and he explained the decision.
“I wanted two strikers who put their defenders in trouble. In the second half we did well, but we suffered a little. I saw a little tiredness. Leao had the characteristics to put Lazio in difficulty, but unfortunately did not do it.
“He must do more. He must give a higher contribution. We are approaching a high level, we can compete with the strongest too.
“We must work with confidence. We are getting closer, but it is still not enough. A player must never be excluded, I make the best choices for the game we have to play.”
A report from Calciomercato.com on Sunday claimed that Milan do not regret turning down the chance to buy Bakayoko outright from Chelsea for €35m.
They stated that there were two reasons for rejecting the deal: the high economic cost involved and the behavioural issues encountered during his loan spell.
However, it sounds like Pioli would prefer to have the Frenchman in his squad.
“We no longer have the characteristics of Bakayoko, we have to play differently. There are also the qualities of the opponents, though.”