Pioli explains decision to drop Leao and backs De Ketelaere to be ‘decisive’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has explained his decision to drop star man Rafael Leao to the bench, and believes that Charles De Ketelaere could be decisive.

There were some eyebrows raised when the starting line-up for the game against Sassuolo was announced as Pioli decided to put Matteo Gabbia in the defence to replace the injured Fikayo Tomori, while Ante Rebic got the nod over Leao to start on the left wing.

Milan are in need of a win after having gone five games in a row without one, and they face a side hovering above the relegation zone but one that have caused problems for the Rossoneri at San Siro in recent years.

Pioli spoke during an interview with Sky Italia before the game against Sassuolo and he was asked about some of his selection decisions, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

On Leao starting from the bench: “A choice dictated by the conditions, Rafa played a lot and lost a bit of brilliance. He is an important player for us, he will still be in the current match.”

On De Ketelaere: “He’s growing, he has the qualities to try to be decisive, especially in this match. We expect to be masters of the pitch, to play the game and to propose various attacking solutions.”

Could this be the turning point? “It must be the game of restarting and turning the page. We want to win without a doubt, we have to do it with a very energetic and equally technical game.”

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli


    1. Yeah but we need to save our ucl spot for the time being. Then put on sale in the summer for 80-100M is enough to get sales record, for the record.

  1. Haha keep saying Zaniolo (or whoever) won’t do any good for this current team. Sometimes all we need a different color to get our rhythm back. And more importantly, it’ll show that the management is care enough to offer some kind of solution to the troubled team, off the field.

  2. Yesterday someone asked Pioli why Vasquez does not play pioli response Vasquez is not ready today plays the total garbage of tata and we conceded 5 gols but lets keep playing tata because the only ones at fault are the defenders and midfielders but not tata and pioli for keep playing him last 7 games we had 27 shots at our goal and conceded 18 gols!Last season 38 games 31 gols conceded this season 20 games 29 gols conceded conceded nice job tata and pioli!

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