Parma prodigy Dejan Kulusevski says Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard are his role models as he tells the story behind his ‘chewing gum ritual’.
Kulusevski is on loan from Atalanta this season and has taken Serie A by storm, impressing sufficiently in just 14 games with Parma to earn the attention of clubs such as Inter and Manchester United.
Now, the 19-year-old has revealed that he has a superstition, which follows him to the pitch every weekend.
“I always chew on gum when I enter the pitch, but if I give the ball away with my first pass, I throw it away,” he told DAZN.
“But if the pass is good, I keep it.”
The Sweden winger doesn’t want to compare himself to other stars but admits he looks to two Belgian superstars for inspiration.
“I only feel like Dejan, but I follow De Bruyne and Hazard closely. If I see a dummy that I like, I will try it on the pitch.
“My favourite dummy is to go right and then come back. I always try it.”
As for the transfer market, Kulusevski made it clear he was only thinking about “having fun” on the pitch.
“When I start to think a lot, I play very badly. I try to be like when I was little in Sweden.
“I just think about having fun. When I’m having fun, I’m strong. I never wanted to be the best of all, but I want to play in a great team.
“My head is what got me here, not just the training and talent. Some coaches didn’t believe in me, people said, ‘this will never be, because he dribbles too much.’
“But, I always thought it was me who was right.”
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