Champions League – Atlético Madrid – AC Milan: Pierre Kalulu, express rise and Blue dream

When we had it met last March, Pierre Kalulu had set a goal with AC Milan. “I want to impose myself and make a place for myself in this group“, he confided at the time, adding also wanting to improve”his level of Italian“. Almost eight months later, the international Espoirs succeeded in his first mission. And almost the second. Not yet bilingual but more than resourceful, the former captain of the OL reserve is today an integral part of the first team of Rossoneri, co-leader of Serie A with Napoli. With the long absence of Davide Calabria, holder of the right-back but injured for several weeks, Kalulu will even increase his playing time. he is the vice-captain’s first alternative in the right lane.
Currently I feel very well, he confided at the microphone of MilanTV before the match against Fiorentina (4-3) on Saturday night. I hope to continue this momentum“Despite his team’s first loss in the league, the Frenchman was one of the only satisfactions for his coach Stefano Pioli.”One of the most active, wrote our colleagues from Eurosport.it. He has a large volume of races and good intuitions, making you forget the absence of Calabria. He is also very interesting in attack, with good initiatives. “For his trainer, Pierre Kalulu, that Zlatan Ibrahimovic had taken under his wing in his early days, is simply a guarantee. It does not matter whether he is a holder or a substitute at kick-off.

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Despite a past in the axis, the French knows how to assert his qualities as a side. On the side of AC Milan, moreover, we do not really consider it in another place, except possibly to troubleshoot. With four elements (Tomori, Kjaer, Romagnoli and Gabbia), the Milanese central defense is indeed well occupied. But Kalulu has already been aligned there, as at the left side post. His versatility is inevitably an asset for his trainer. “He’s a good joker, says a regular at Milanello. In the derby against Inter, for example, he was shifted to the left in the second half.”

Application and attention

Arrived on tiptoe in August 2020, Pierre Kalulu quickly displayed all his qualities in Lombardy, after having logically gone through a period of adaptation of several months. One of its great strengths? Probably the impact he manages to have on his team when he’s on the pitch. Always diligent, the native of Lyon always responds when he is aligned, proof of great maturity despite his young age and his second season only with the pros. Proof of this is his entry against FC Porto (1-1) on November 3. Entered at half-time, he is at the origin of the equalization of his.

Defensively, his progress is notorious. Concentration, reading the game, ability to win duels: Kalulu is a bone for his direct opponent. However, marking on a set piece remains an axis of progress. And offensively, the former captain of the Lyon reserve is a weapon in the making. Certainly, he still has some way to go before reaching the level of Theo Hernandez in the other corridor. But his quality of crosses is improving, as evidenced by his assist for Daniel Maldini’s first Serie A goal against La Spezia last September. Or his last victorious goal with the France Espoirs team on the lawn of North Macedonia (0-1) last week. His palette has continued to grow since his arrival in Italy. In particular, he added a more important tactical sense, as well as impeccable demand and rigor.

As the matches progressed, Pierre Kalulu, whose strong personality struck more than one, scores points. “In Florence, it was he who was preferred to Alessandro Florenzi, who had however just passed the international break in Milanello, continues Antonio Vitiello, journalist for the MilanNews site and the newspaper Tuttosport. This is to say the growing confidence around the French. He was one of the best in the field. Today, when we think that he was recruited free from OL … It’s a golden business. We suspected it at the time, since his profile had been observed for a long time, before being validated by the whole club. But today it’s a certainty. “According to the specialist site Transfermarkt, its current value is 7 million euros.

Under contract until 2025 with the Rossoneri, is the international Espoirs therefore lasting in Lombardy? “He feels great at AC Milan, we are told in his entourage. He continues to learn alongside great players and has never looked back on his choice, let alone now. For him, going to a new championship and changing country was a fundamental step in his young career. Here in Milan it is highly regarded.”

And the Blues in all of this?

A French player in force in a major European club, this should certainly not escape the eye of Didier Deschamps. And that falls rather well besides, since Kalulu probably occupies the only position still likely to move in the Blues. Can he really claim it? Today, he could be among the candidates, even if this new system with three defenders does not make things easier. In Milan, the Lyonnais plays in a defense to 4. If Theo Hernandez has adapted to the left, his teammate should do the same on the right. He would even have the qualities (volume of races, activity, defensive attention …), but his young age certainly invites DD to be cautious. Especially since Kingsley Coman broke the screen in this role of piston during the last rally, in the face of relative adversity, however. Benjamin Pavard and Léo Dubois are loyal to the boss of the Blues, Nordi Mukiele a neo-international tricolor and Jonathan Clauss continues to knock on the door. While waiting for the door to open, Pierre Kalulu can calmly continue his journey with the Bleuets.

When you play football, it is necessarily a goal to join the France team, he confided to Eurosport at the beginning of the year. Most of my teammates are international here, and I see at every break the desire they have to join their selection. Especially since the France team, it makes you want“As a famous Italian proverb says,” Chi goes piano, goes well and goes far. “Or literally,” He who goes slowly, goes healthy and goes far. “

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