Alexis Saelemaekers has shed some light on the friendship he has with Olivier Giroud as well as his current moment and his thoughts on the Scudetto run-in.
Saelemaekers joined Giroud for an interview with elevensports and began by talking about how it has been having the Frenchman at the club since the start of the season, given that he joined from Chelsea last summer.
“I helped him find an apartment when he arrived here in Milan. I also taught him a little bit of Italian. I have great respect for Olivier for his career and for the many trophies he has won. And then on the human level, he is an incredible person,” he said (via MilanNews).
“I try to learn as much as possible every day from him, he is a model for me and for the young people. He has everything, even from the point of view of mentality. He has done so much in his career and continues to do so, he has shown the whole world who he is. Today he is a big name in the world of football.”
In Monday night’s match against Bologna Saelemaekers did not even get a single minute of playing time for what is the first game this season. The Belgian winger has therefore had his streak of consecutive appearances with Milan for this season ended at 39, and he is not in the best form.
“It’s never nice to play a little, but we know that less positive moments can happen. But slowly, working hard in training, I will return to play more. It’s a moment like this, but stay focused and confident,” he said.
“I hope that everything will go for the best and that when I have my chance I will take it with both hands. Have I talked to Pioli about it? No because, for me, they are choices he makes. He has to manage a working group. We are first in the league. I have to accept the competition and try to do my best to regain my place on the pitch.”
Milan have seven league games left and find themselves top of the table, but the draw earlier this week saw the lead trimmed to one point after Napoli and Inter both won their respective games. The margins for error are now smaller than ever before, something Saelemaekers recognises.
“We do not feel the pressure. For now we are first. We must continue on this path, we must continue with this confidence. Then we will see what will happen.
“In any case we must give 200% to try to collect something because it is two years that this group is doing well and that has brought Milan back to where they deserve to be. I think this group is able to bring Milan back to the top. So we have to continue like this.”