Alexis Saelemaekers has suggested that he would not have left AC Milan had Paolo Maldini not been sacked as the technical director this summer.
Before reading the comments below, it is worth checking out our recent Substack piece on Saelemaekers as well as Divock Origi and Charles De Ketelaere, which has some exclusive info on their respective situations prior to each leaving.
The Belgian winger was heavily linked with an exit heading into the month of August with Milan having signed three right wingers in Luka Romero, Christian Pulisic and Samuel Chukwueze. In the end he got his move to Bologna on a loan with option deal.
Saelemaekers was presented as a new Bologna player today and during his press conference he explained why he decided to leave the Rossoneri and move to Thiago Motta’s team, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
“Before Maldini left there was no intention to go, then once some situations changed I decided to look for another opportunity in agreement with the club. I found it and I’m happy,” he said.
“I came here because I felt great trust from the coach and the club, it was important for me at this moment in my career. After good years at Milan and with the Scudetto won I wanted more minutes on the pitch and I believe that Bologna is the right choice.”
Saelemaekers was also linked with a move to Real Betis as a number of sources claimed that they opened talks.
“Yes, there was this opportunity [to move to Spain] but I felt more confidence in Bologna. I know that many were sorry about my transfer.
“Areas to improve? Let’s say I scored little, I didn’t have great attacking statistics but I’m working on it. I arrived at Milan as a full-back but Pioli decided to put me further forward.”