Tuttosport: Cramps and more distance covered – the signs of a ‘new Leao’

By Oliver Fisher -

There were some worries about Rafael Leao when he collapsed to the ground on pain at the end of the win over Bologna, but in actual fact it was a sign regarding the ‘new’ version of him we will see.

That is according to Tuttosport (via PianetaMilan) writes how Leao did not score or assist in the match at the Renato Dall’Ara, but he gave very important signals to his coach Stefano Pioli.

The run he made which ended with a shot hitting the post and the fact he suffered from cramp at the end of the game are signs that he gave everything for the cause, and the clues could say a lot about Pioli’s new indications for Rafa.

The new structure of Milan will also require Leao to apply himself on the defensive end and likely to cover more ground. Pioli himself was very happy with the Portuguese’s performance and with the fact he suffered from cramp.

“I’m very happy because it means that Rafa has given everything,” he said. In Bologna, Leao covered 9.843km. Last season, his average per game was 8.391km.

With Saelemaekers absent on the right, Leao too will have to lend a hand in the non-possession phase, because even with Pulisic or Chukwueze the team would be too unbalanced.

For this reason, the arrival of Okafor could be essential. Leao with Milan will also have to defend and will need minutes and games where he can have a break.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao


  1. Said 2 years ago if he wants to be the best he needs to build up his stamina.. Its not proper to get tired after 70 min of “hard” work
    And i dont care if he is the winger, every player must be able to cover 10-12km and still have fuel for extra time when need be..

      1. wingers, by average, cover around 10.2km each game…
        Last season Leao covered 8.4km per game…
        Im not saying he MUST cover 12km each game. Im saying he has to be able to cover it..

      1. his fitness lvls were nothing to write home 2 to begin with. Thats why i always said he was lazy..
        Good to see he is finally working on that

    1. The funny thing is that the old man Giroud playing as the striker last season covered more meters each match than almost-half-his-age winger whose body recovers 1000x faster. 😀

  2. The cramps don’t surprise me nor the recurringthem of injuries in our club recently . If we were to rely on Gasperini’s assessment of CDK’s physical condition he was quote saying this about a player that was in preseason training at our club.

    “He has all the confidence, it’s a negotiation that went on for a long time, we lost a few weeks, but we’ll find it again on the way.”

    Finally, Gasperini commented on if Scamacca and De Ketelaere could start against Frosinone on Saturday evening.

    “There are players who are in better condition, Scamacca and De Ketelaere are not in top condition, but there is no doubt about their qualities.”

    The coaching and preparation for us, clearly is lacking if you were to read in between the lines of these comments.

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