After a slow start to the season, Chelsea loanee Mario Pasalic continues to put in great effort for AC Milan.
He didn’t even make his debut until the end of October, but has started the last 10 Serie A games for the Rossonero, including their midweek clash away at Bologna when nine-man Milan ended a three-game losing streak thanks to Pasalic’s 89th-minute goal (set up by Everton loanee Gerard Deulofeu).
Pasalic’s agent, Marko Naletilic was quite happy afterwards with his client's showing, and praised Milan boss Vincenzo Montella for improving Pasalic's confidence in his game.
"He really played an amazing game, he was one of the best players on the pitch. Mario is growing and I can tell you that in a few years from now, he will be one of the best young players to play that position. He is a very smart player and he has gained a lot of confidence thanks to coach [Vincenzo] Montella. He can only improve at this point."
Of course, Pasalic does not belong to Milan just yet and all options are on the table as far as his future’s concerned.
"Future? Let's see how things go. He is a Chelsea player and we will have to decide his future once the season ends. He is happy at Milan but I don't know how it will end. At the moment, he is fully focused on Milan."
"We are ready to continue with Milan but in the end, Chelsea are the owners and they will have the final say on the matter. He has been a Milan fan for years now and we can only thank Milan for this chance. This could mean nothing or it might mean a lot, let's see how the future unfolds."
-Marko Naletilic; source: Juvenews.it via Calcio Mercato
Pasalic himself is doing the usual staying out of the way that most players do in such circumstances.
"Next season, Milan or Chelsea? First we have to see what Chelsea want, then Milan, and then I'll see what is best for me. I am not worried at all."
-Mario Pasalic; source: Goal.com
Pasalic may seem like a long-shot for the Chelsea first-team at the moment, but if he continues to play a major role for Milan, Conte will surely take notice. The 22-year-old impressed last season at AS Monaco as well before an unfortunate back injury took him out of commission for a while, and even the season before then, as still just a teenager, he played a big role at Elche in La Liga.
The kid’s clearly got talent and could be worth keeping an eye on (or cashing in).