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AC Milan

Belgium manager defends De Ketelaere amid ‘demanding’ display in Milan derby

Charles De Ketelaere has struggled to impose himself at AC Milan thus far and the World Cup break thus came at a good time for him. Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has backed him to do well with the Rossoneri.

The attacking midfielder, who arrived for €35m in the summer, has only registered one assist and he has struggled to perform well for his new club. Milan are hoping that he will be able to regain form with Belgium at the World Cup, though.

Speaking to Eleven Sports, as cited by Radio Rossonera, Belgium manager Martinez was asked about De Ketelaere. He stated that the playmaker has done quite well in several matches and that he already has shown impressive growth.

“You get more responsible when you join a team that has just won Serie A. There are many roles you have to fill, both with and without the ball. I was in Milan to see the derby against Inter and I saw a very significant and demanding performance from Charles.

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“He played as a No.10, he was the centre of Milan’s manoeuvre. He had so much responsibility in the non-possession phase. That responsibility has made him the player he is, making him grow much faster than expected,” he stated.

We can only hope that De Ketelaere will return to Milanello with boosted confidence, as a goal or an assist could be all he needs to unlock his qualities. Piling on criticism certainly won’t help, that’s for sure.

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