Friday July 10 2020
Saelemaekers wants more of the same

Alexis Saelemaekers wants to see more of the ‘mentality’ shown against Juventus and insisted Milan ‘will do everything’ to beat Napoli on Sunday.

The right midfielder has started the last two wins against Lazio and Juventus and praised his teammates for the way they turned the game against the Bianconeri.

“It was an incredible game,” Saelemaekers told the club’s official channel. “We showed our mentality, being down by two goals and coming back to win 4-2 is incredible.

The former Anderlecht star arrived on loan in January but has since earned a permanent move to Milan and has been performing well since the resumption.

“Since I arrived, I have worked hard. I have tried to work with the right mentality and settle in the squad. I tried to get an opportunity to play.

“The coach gave me the chance and I do my best to deserve it. I’m doing well and I hope to continue like this.”

He pointed out Hakan Calhanoglu as a big help when he arrived and revealed who he has grown the closest bonds with at Milanello.

“When you arrive at Milanello, you realise the importance of this club and the legends who have played here. It’s great for me to be here.

“Hakan has been fantastic. When I arrived here, he welcomed me with lots of advice, both on the pitch and for the city.

“I admire Hakan, Rafa [Leao], [Ismael] Bennacer and Franck [Kessie]. It’s nice to have people like them here, they help you settle in the best way.”

Saelemaekers revealed coach Stefano Pioli doesn’t speak much and admitted he has only learned a few words of Italian so far.

“I think the coach expects his players to play their role,” he added. “He’s not a coach who speaks a lot, but when he does…

“For now, I have only learned a few words. Right, left, between the lines. Words like this. I’m improving and I hope to learn quickly.”

The 21-year-old went back to Belgium during the break and wanted to thank the medics for their hard work during the pandemic.

“It was a particular period. After the training stopped, I went back to Belgium to stay with my family. But my thoughts were for Italy, especially for Milan.

“It’s necessary to thank the doctors for what they have done.”

Milan remain unbeaten since the return in June and prepare to face Napoli on Sunday, a six-pointer in the battle for Europe next season.

“We hope to win,” Sealemaekers added. “This game is important for the table because they’re sixth and we’re seventh.

“We can beat them, we’ll do everything we can.”

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