Pioli praises ‘top quality’ summer signings and Theo’s form: “Never been like this”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has claimed that he has not seen Theo Hernandez play as well as he did against Hellas Verona, while he praised the impact of the summer signings.

Milan made it five wins in a row across all competitions as they emerged 3-1 winners against Hellas Verona at the Stadio MarcAntonio Bentegodi on Sunday afternoon.

Theo got the opening goal of the game moments before the half-time interval as he took advantage of a couple of lucky bounces to find himself one on one with the goalkeeper, who he poked the ball past.

Christian Pulisic doubled the lead early in the second half as he had the simple job of tapping into an empty net when Noah Okafor’s shot was parried into his path.

Noslin’s rocket of a shot from outside the box reopened the contest, but it was Samuel Chukwueze who killed off the game with a beautiful volley off the bench to get his first Serie A goal. The Rossoneri move three points above Juventus after they dropped points against Genoa.

Pioli spoke in the conference room at the Bentegodi after the game to give his thoughts on the match, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

Milan have 10 more points than Juventus in the last six games…

“We had an excellent start to the season, perhaps we did too well, considering that we had changed so many players and I didn’t expect it, just as I didn’t expect the decline afterwards. Now we’re doing well and there are many opportunities to demonstrate our value.”

Theo looked unstoppable…

“Unfair yellow card, to begin with, because the Verona bench intervened after the celebration of Theo who always celebrates like this; he says ‘speak, speak’, perhaps he had it in for you journalists!

“I only know that in terms of presence in the group Theo he’s never been like this, not even in the year of the Scudetto. Maybe something triggered in him.”

Milan have one point less than the Scudetto season at this stage…

“We will have very important and stimulating challenges, including the Europa League which we must try to go all the way in.”

You will meet a very different Roma…

“We want to go all the way in the Europa League. With De Rossi they play very different football, they play very well. They achieved a great victory against Brighton, they have talent, quality, a very good coach.

“It will be a very balanced tie, but we have our ability and motivation to overcome the difficulties that will arise.”

Second place has been consolidated…

“An important result in a difficult match. We played a very good first half, allowing a couple of counters due to passes played with little precision. Then one incident reopened things, but we did well to close it again. We played a good match.”

Now you have everyone at your disposal…

“Very important, that’s why I let Kalulu play today. We need a group like this until the end.”

Finally, Chukwueze got his goal…

“Not all foreigners who arrive are the same, not everyone has the same time to enter into a new way of working. Those arriving from the Premier League are more ready, those arriving from others need more time.

“Chukwu is settling in, he has had some physical problems, he’s very willing, he has the talent and quality to do well with us.”

What was the reaction to Murelli after Chukwueze’s goal?

“Ehhh, you mustn’t look at me during the match!”

Milan have 40 goals from summer signings…

“The club worked well during the transfer window, I have always supported it. We have signed top quality players. There are the foundations to do well this year, even if we won’t be able to win the Scudetto this year, and to also do well in the future.”


Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli


  1. We’re second, with completely revamped and injury ravaged squad, overlaping Juventus who been together for seasons now and had only domestic tournament to play.


    1. I dunno. Juventus has seen a lot of change in recent seasons. There has been a lot of change in defense and midfield in the last couple of seasons. 2 seasons (2021-22) ago it was De Ligt, Bonucci and Chiellini, now it’s Gatti, Bremer and Danilo. Midfield is full of young kids. If anything the area that has seen least change is attack. I would say Juventus has done rather well to be where they are this season.

      1. Yes, but these young kids are mostly homegrown, defense was also done in two seasons or so. We went into complete revamp, at least in midfield (which in my opinion is the heart of the team), just last summer.

        That’s just my personal view as I was expecting maximum 4th place this season, considering the changes made.

        1. Oh, and we are just one point below our Scudetto season. Either Inter are overachieving this season or competition was poor in our Scudetto season. But even then we topped Inter for 2 points in the end.

  2. Theo is my favorite player, and probably will always be so long as he remains in Milan. But the first 20-25 minutes his flank was completely open for Empoli’s attack. This is not only on him, but also on Reindjers (and Pioli’s positioning), but still.

    Our defensive game overall is still very much lacking

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