Gabriel Paletta explains he was “determined” to stay at Milan and “play for my chances” this summer.
The centre-back spent last season on loan at Atalanta, but he opted to stay at San Siro this summer and has become a crucial part of Vincenzo Montella’s side.
“It was my choice [to leave last year] because I wasn’t given space,” Paletta told Milan TV.
“Last year the Coach [Sinisa Mihajlovic] made his choices and I decided to go away and play. When I came back I’d already decided to stay and play for my chances, even if I wasn’t a starter straight away.
“I was lucky enough to play in all the summer friendlies, and they trusted me for competitive games.
“Vincenzo Montella? I’ve found him to be very good. We have an idea of how we want to play and everyone knows what to do.
“For now we’re doing well and we hope to continue like this. The Coach always wants to build from the back with the two centre-backs.
“The first priority is to defend, but if there’s a chance to help out in the possession phase then we do it.
“Competition for places? Anyone who takes over can do well, and that’s the important thing. We’ve shown in training and in every game that we want to play.
“Then the Coach makes his choices. The most important thing is the group and that all the players are happy.
“I think this is a very good group, and you can see that when the Coach makes changes because the ones who come in give us a hand.
“The most important thing is that everyone feels important, even those who don’t play. Everyone knows what to do, and if you replace someone who is missing then the team won’t feel his absence.”
Paletta has formed a partnership with youngster Alessio Romagnoli, who is seen as the future of Italian defending.
“He definitely has a lot of room to grow, like a lot of our young players. He’s good, he trains well and he listens to the advice we give him.
“This is a good group.”
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