NEWS
Friday March 29 2013
Allegri sees Ibra in Balotelli

Mario Balotelli has been compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri – but he can still improve as a player.

Balotelli joined the Diavolo in January and he’s responded with seven goals in his first six games for the outfit.

“He’s similar to Ibrahimovic both physically and technically,” Allegri noted on the eve of the Chievo game. “But he can get better because he’s playing with continuity here.

“Balotelli still has to improve a lot as a centre-forward given his potential, but he has all the right ingredients to do it.

“The important thing is that he keeps on playing for the team.”

Milan had a slow start to the season after selling Ibra and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain, as well as releasing a host of veterans.

“The squad is young and I’m happy with the work that the club has done,” Allegri, whose side lost five of their first eight League ties, added.

“If we get into the Champions League, without having to pre-qualify, it’ll have been a good year. One thing is sure, if we’re to get where we want to be, we’ll need a lot of points.”

Milan are currently third, two points behind Napoli.

“I didn’t call up Cristian Zapata as he’s a bit jet lagged,” Allegri continued. “Kevin Boateng and Giampaolo Pazzini will be ready for the match in Florence.

“Abate, De Sciglio, Mexes and one of either Bonera, Yepes or Zaccardo will play.

“In the midfield I have to decide if I’ll play Montolivo in front of the defence or on the right with Ambrosini in the centre.”

The former Cagliari boss also insisted that he would still be in charge for the 2013-14 campaign.

“I feel tied to this club and I can’t see myself working for another, although you never know what will happen.

“I’m very happy to be at Milan and hope to stay at this club for the long term. For that to happen we need results so let’s hope the team can give us some satisfaction.”

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