Thursday November 7 2019
Bennacer: 'I'll become Milan leader'

Ismael Bennacer has declared that he wants to become a “leader” for Milan and revealed he is studying Rossoneri predecessor Andrea Pirlo.

Bennacer only joined Milan from Empoli over the summer and is not 22 until December, but the midfielder already believes he could be the player to lift the Rossoneri.

“I feel good and I’m sorry about how that match ended [when Milan lost 2-1 to a late Lazio goal last weekend],” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Previously I played in an attacking position, but for the past year-and-a-half I’ve been playing in front of the defence.

“It has taught me a lot, but I still have a long way to go before I say it’s good. I know I must be a more of a leader. I need to speak more, something my role requires.

“I need to learn how to give my teammates the best indications, to control the difficult moments.

“Today I’m already talking a lot on the pitch, but outside I’m very quiet. But I need to do it even more.

“And I need to grow tactically, to look for the ball, to know how I can pull away from the pressure and be available for my teammates.

“Obviously, Milan are Milan and Empoli were Empoli. But football is the same everywhere, I only play with better players now. That’s why I say I’m not affected by the pressure; I think it will do me good.

“The mistakes are still there, but they don’t depend on where you are. I repeat, I know which areas I must improve and my choice to come here has been the best I could have done.”

The Algerian then explained how Zvonimir Boban had advised him to watch videos of a prime Pirlo.

“I’m inspired by [Andres] Iniesta and [Marco] Verratti, I follow them closely. When Pirlo played, I was only little and I didn’t get to watch him so much live.

“I know he is one of the best and Boban always reminds me of that.

“He tells me: ‘Watch how Pirlo played, he wasn’t very quick but always knew where the ball would be and where his teammates were. His positioning was always perfect.’ Now I study him in videos.”