After arriving at AC Milan in the January transfer market from Anderlecht, he started off his career at the San Siro somewhat anonymously. However, in the past couple of matches, Alexis Saelemaekers has been showing positive signs of improvement and even started in Milan’s massive 4-2 win against Juventus earlier this week.
The young versatile midfielder arrived on an initial loan deal for a figure of 3.5 million euros, with Rossoneri obtaining an option to buy the player for the same amount at the end of June. This option was exercised by the club and the Belgian is now tied to Milan until June 2024.
In the meantime, the 21-year-old has integrated well in Stefano Pioli’s squad and spoke about his first months at the San Siro in an interview to Milan TV (via milannews.it).
“Juventus? It was an incredible game. We showed our mentality. Being down by two goals and winning 4-2 is incredible. It is with this mentality that we will have to face the next games,” the youngster told Milan’s official TV channel.
“Since I arrived here I have worked hard. I have tried to work with the right mentality to enter the mechanisms of the squad and to have the opportunity to play. The coach gave me the chance and I do my best to deserve it. I’m doing well and I hope to continue like this.”
The Anderlecht youth product went on to describe his first impressions of Milanello as well as the relationship he has with his teammates at the club, as well as with coach Pioli
“When you arrive at Milanello you realize the importance of this club and the legends that have trained here. It is important for me to be here,” Saelemaekers reflected.
“Who gave me the most advice? Hakan, he’s a fantastic guy. When I arrived here, he welcomed me with many tips, both for the pitch and for the city.
“The closest ties in the team? I have esteem for Hakan, Rafa (Leao), Bennacer and Franck. It’s nice to have people like them because they make you settle in the best way.
“Pioli? I think the coach wants his players to play their role. He is not a coach who speaks a lot, but when he does…”
Finally, the Belgian talked about how he has been progressing with his Italian, reflected on the lockdown as well as his life in Milano and the upcoming matchup against Napoli.
“For now I have learned only a few words: right, left, between the lines. Words of this type. I am improving and I hope to learn it quickly,” he said.
“The lockdown? It was a particular period. After the training stop, I went back to Belgium because I wanted to stay with my family, but my thoughts were for Italy and especially for Milano. It is necessary to thank the doctors for what they have done.
“My life in Milano? I’m not a guy who goes out. I prefer to stay at home and play the PlayStation. When my family comes here, I often take them downtown, to the Duomo.
“Napoli? We hope to win. This game is important for the standings because they are sixth and were are seventh. If we play like Milan, we can beat them. We will do everything,” Saelemaekers concluded.