Milan's technical director Paolo Maldini insists the Rossoneri is the best place for Rafael Leao to develop.
will face Graham Potter’sChelsea
in the Champions League on Wednesday. They are top of the group with four points after two games.
“We have a lot of injuries, some of them very serious, as three players will only be available from January onwards,”
Maldini told Amazon Prime Italia.
“What we’ve done over the last two-and-a-half years is to not accept excuses and make sure everyone can be a protagonist in this squad. That is one of the secrets to our success.
“The team was very courageous last season, we believed in our chances from the start. When you win something for the first time, the most difficult test becomes confirming your success by winning again.
“I expect to see us confirm our status in Italy and to get through to the Champions League knockouts. It is more difficult to win again, because you have that focus on you at all times and need to maintain your concentration.”
Milan legend says they must show courage against Chelsea who has just one point from their first two games in the Champions League.
“What we’ve done in our years together is be courageous. If we get scared, then we lose our identity. Growth is a process and it is also helped by facing difficult games like this. We might even lose them, but as long as we go out there with the idea of competing and without a sense of inadequacy, we can have our say even against a side that is the reigning World Club Cup holder.”
who is under contract with Milan until 2024 was linked with Chelsea during the summer. Maldini compares Leao to a rough diamond.
“Leao is still a rough diamond. He arrived at the age of 20, I didn’t have his sense of confidence at 20. Each of us have a different path to take. I felt the pressure and needed a pat on the back or reassuring word at the right time, so these lads too need the same support a father gives to his child.”
Maldini was also asked about the contract negotiations with Rafael Leao and his agent requesting a salary of around €7m per season.
“We have the desire to extend the contracts with him, Ismael Bennacer and Pierre Kalulu. That is the intention, then naturally we need to sit around a table and negotiate.
“I think Milan is the best place for Rafa to develop completely as a player, in my view.”
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