The Derby della Madonnina is on the program on Sunday, the clash between AC Milan and Inter. A new chance for Charles De Ketelaere to show himself, which has become much needed in the meantime…
It is now known: the Charles De Ketelaere from Milan is not the one from Club Brugge. The top Belgian talent has struggled to make his mark in his first season in Serie A, with just one assist in 24 appearances so far. Our compatriot – who cost 35 million euros – is regularly criticized in the Italian press, but at Milan themselves they still believe in the Red Devil.
Still, it’s all hands on deck at the Rossoneri. After four league games without a win, they have fallen to fifth place in the standings, 15 points behind leaders Napoli, so a victory against city rivals Inter (second with 2 points more) is almost a requirement. Whether De Ketelaere will start is a big question mark. Competitor Brahim Diaz is fit and ‘CDK’ was replaced after 45 minutes against Sassuolo (2-5 defeat) at the end of January.
In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ricardo Kaka already has some advice for our compatriot. In the media storm surrounding his transfer, he was sometimes compared to the Brazilian Milan icon, who won a Golden Ball in the service of the club.
“Try to enjoy the moment,” said Kaka. “Seize your chances and make the most of them when you get them at Milan. The equation? Charles doesn’t look like me and I don’t like comparisons anyway. They only put extra pressure on the shoulders of such a young guy, especially if they make the step to a top club. So I would say to De Ketelaere: just stay calm.”
Because Kaka did not immediately shine at the Italian club, just like talented players such as Rafael Leao and Sandro Tonali now. “Even during the first six months of my second season, I had a very difficult time,” it sounds. “The opponents know who you are and take precautions, so it’s all different from what you were used to. But you must always remain calm. The advice of more experienced teammates should also be useful for Charles.”