After a disappointing first season in England, Tiémoué Bakayoko has gone off to Italy on loan, to try his luck at AC Milan (and maybe join them on a permanent basis at the end of the season, too).
Unfortunately for him, his first appearance for the Rossoneri didn’t exactly go according to plan. Bakayoko continued where he left off in England, putting in a rather dire performance as a second half substitute as Milan gave up a 2-0 lead to ultimately lose 3-2 to Napoli on Saturday. Bakayoko arrived on the scene at 2-1, but first touch was once again exposed, as was his work rate and tenacity in the little over 30 minutes he was given.
Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso, a man famed for the latter two qualities during his playing career, had some strong words after the game about the Chelsea loanee’s debut.
“Bakayoko has to learn how to get the ball. We must work correctly. It will not be easy. One week is not enough to remove the defects of a player. I would have preferred to be managing older, more experienced club players.”
-Gennaro Gattuso; source: Evening Standard
Whether or not it’s a good idea for Gattuso to voice such strong negative opinions through the media, Mourinho-style, is debatable, but flip-flopping on the 24-year-old in the space of 24 hours is shocking either way. Just the day before the match, Gattuso had been lauding Bakayoko for being “impressive” and “technically gifted”. Yikes.
It’s of course just one game, but hopefully Bakayoko uses these words as motivation rather than final judgement. Good luck, Tiémoué; you’re going to need it!
(Ed.note: maybe once bit of luck will be Conte coming in to replace Gattuso?)