MN: Pioli must put more faith in De Ketelaere – he could help Milan escape the quagmire

By Oliver Fisher -

The suggestions are that Charles De Ketelaere could well get a start against Sassuolo on Sunday, and it is time for him to demonstrate his abilities.

MilanNews recall a moment back on 3 January 2021 when Milan won against Benevento and Rafael Leao scored a wonderful goal where he lobbed the keeper who had come off his line, and celebrated by pointing to where a watch would be and stating: “It’s our time.”

Leao was right, as Milan won the Scudetto last year and all of a sudden that ‘young core’ of Fikayo Tomori, Sandro Tonali, Ismael Bennacer, Pierre Kalulu, Theo Hernandez, Davide Calabria and Leao himself became established stars.

Then we come to Charles De Ketelaere, for whom the management invested €32m plus €3m in bonuses. The amount leaves no room for interpretation: he is a player that Milan are building their project around, along with others.

However, the Belgian found a culture, a language, a way of playing football and a different type of game, and as a result he has not yet managed to get out of his shell. He showed very bright signs early in the season but seems to have got lost, though there are those who still continue to defend the 21-year-old.

Leao and Tonali took time to get to grips with the pressures of a club like Milan, but expectations have rightly changed and so has the time available which is why De Ketelaere has come under such scrutiny.

The start of 2023 has brought about a very difficult moment with just one win in six to begin the new year, but it would be foolish to think of clinging to a player born in 2001 who is already experiencing a delicate moment on his own.

However, in order to get out of the quagmire, Pioli must also be able to make the most of those who at the moment have been used less. That is why the Sassuolo game could well be the right moment for De Ketelaere to prove his worth.

Tags AC Milan Charles De Ketelaere


        1. Played before Milan? Really? Is there anyone not knowing that? Personally never insulted Tonali thru his first season. As much as he made mistakes, the motivation and grit were there. Something we don’t see in CdK. And also, Tonali didn’t cost us 35 mil.

  1. Charles havnt felt the love from Poli. Mr Coach only plays his pet Diaz and gives starting places to Diaz. Diaz is real Madrid player. Milan will not spend $22M to buy him. Mr Coach, wake up. CDK and Adil is Milan owned. Develop Milan players 1st.

    1. CDK already got started multiple times. So far he’s most used new player with 16 times appearance but he can’t give results for Pioli.

      Meanwhile Diaz already scored 4 goals and 3 assist from 17 times appearance.

    2. Why do we have to keep playing players that do not deliver? It’s not a coach job and responsibility (at least on Italy) on what club does in the market. Their job is to field the best line up with the available squads.

      1. Sadly Diaz is the best #10 we’ve got. Though I’d like to see Adli or even Rebic there instead but… It is how it is. Pioli decides.

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