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AC Milan

Mancini assesses Scudetto race, Leao, Tonali and new signing De Ketelaere

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini has been impressed with AC Milan’s signing of Charles De Ketelaere, and believes the young squad can have success again.

Mancini was interviewed by La Gazzetta dello Sport (via PianetaMilan) and he spoke at length about the season which is just about to get in and seems set to be another long and close Scudetto battle based on how each of the contenders have strengthened.

He began by speaking about Tommaso Mancini (to whom he has no relation) – a striker that seems destined to join the Rossoneri from Vicenza and is already making waves in the youth sides of the national team.

“He is good and physical. I would have liked to take him to an camp already, but he had commitments with his club. We will follow him more than before,” he said.

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Mancini was asked about who he thinks are the current favourites to go on and lift the table, with the former Inter boss stating his belief that it is a three-horse race at present.

“Milan, Inter and Juve in front of everyone. Then I see Roma and Napoli.”

On Milan’s chances, he added: “I believe that the enthusiasm of the young people can last, Pioli gave the team a safe game. The summer sent comforting signals, but real football has yet to begin.”

One of the starts of last season for the Rossoneri was Rafael Leao as he racked up double figures in goals and assists across all competitions, earning the title of Serie A MVP, and Mancini was impressed.

“His real strength is the margins for improvement. He can still grow a lot and he is already doing a lot. Just as Tonali can grow. For both of them it will have to be the season of definitive maturity,” he said.

Finally, a word on the new €32m arrival Charles De Ketelaere: “He has important athletic and technical qualities. He is young and he needs prudence, but he lacks nothing to become a top player.”

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