Krzysztof Piatek admits he must earn the Number 9 jersey and “with all due respect to West Ham, Milan are a much bigger club. It’s like a fairy tale.”
The striker completed his transfer from Genoa for €35m plus bonuses this week and is already in the squad for tomorrow night’s big match against Napoli.
“Milanello is amazing! I have joined a big club. I want to make my dreams come true, develop myself and make the next steps in my career. I have no doubt that I made a very good decision. It’s like a fairy tale,” he told Polish site Przeglad Sportowy.
“I was in shock when I saw the facilities. Everything is at the highest level here. There are six pitches, two heated, one artificial, two gyms, kitchen, dining room, each player has his own room. Amazing place. Every situation and every day provide new impressions.
“Signing the contract, visiting the trophy room, that is where your jaw drops.”
Piatek scored 13 Serie A goals for Genoa and moved on after just six months, but had also received a proposal from West Ham United.
“Coming to Genoa, I had no right to assume that I would leave the club in the winter. There is an offer that cannot be refused, with all parties happy. A great prospect of development has opened up for me. Nobody wanted to block it or slow it down.
“You can’t turn down a club like Milan. I didn’t come here to sit on the bench and pick up a salary, either. I have this opportunity to join a legendary club and I want to use it.
“The first Milan offer came two weeks ago and I didn’t hesitate. It was a win-win situation, a big transfer fee for Genoa and a dream come true for me.
“West Ham also made a big offer, but Genoa turned it down, as they have a very good relationship with Milan and wanted to give them the priority.
“I had no doubts on who I preferred, as I was determined to join Milan. With all due respect to West Ham, Milan are a much bigger club. The money might’ve been the same, but at this stage of my career, money is not the most important thing. I have the chance to play in the Champions League here.”
Many expected Piatek to take on the Number 9 jersey left vacant by Gonzalo Higuain, but he has been given the Number 19 instead.
“We had a conversation with the club and I have to admit, I did want the Number 9 and didn’t hide it. However, the club decided to take it slowly and hold off for a bit. It has to be a reward for the player who deserves it, to follow in the footsteps of Filippo Inzaghi and Marco van Basten.
“I was told that I must prove myself first and I want to do that.”
He could make his debut against Napoli on Saturday evening, with fellow Poland international Arkadiusz Milik on the other side.
“I am at Gennaro Gattuso’s disposal, although he hasn’t had much time to see me in training. I’d love a run-out, to introduce myself to the San Siro supporters in such a big game.”