Roberto Mancini defends De Ketelaere: “Think of De Bruyne’s start at Chelsea”

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Charles De Ketelaere did not enjoy his top transfer to AC Milan yet, but need not despair. That is the opinion of the Italian national coach Robert Mancini.

Martin Delvaux

Italian national champion AC Milan kicks off his second half of the season in Serie A on Wednesday afternoon at Salernitana. Milan has to make up for a gap of eight points on a very strong Napoli and counts on Charles De Ketelaere, among others. The 21-year-old Belgian could not convince in his first months in Milan and gradually received more criticism from various quarters. Italian national coach Roberto Mancini took on Monday in La Gazzetta dello Sport for De Ketelaere. “He is very strong. But he’s young, so he needs time. And he is a Belgian, he has to get used to it. Think of De Bruyne’s start at Chelsea: it seemed like he didn’t know how to play football,” Mancini makes the comparison.

“De Ketelaere could also play as a false nine, but he seems more of an attacking midfielder to me. If he returns to his top level, together with other newcomers like Adli and Origi, that could change a lot for AC Milan.”

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