AC Milan attacker Alexis Saelemaekers has suggested a reason why Charles De Ketelaere may soon be about to turn his form around for the Rossoneri after a tough start to life in Italy.
The Belgian youngster moved to Milan from Club Brugge in the summer of 2022 and he was incredibly highly rated by many different European clubs. He has not been able to reproduce his Club Brugge form since he arrived in Serie A and some fans have begun to lose patience.
World Cup break could help De Ketelaere
According to fellow Belgian attacker Alexis Saelemaekers, the break for the 2022 World Cup may have done Charles De Ketelaere a lot of good, especially as it has meant that he can see his family.
Speaking during a recent interview with Sky Sport Italia, Saelemaekers said of his teammate: “It wasn’t easy in the last few months for him, but the break got him back on track, seeing his family was important. Now I see he is looking well, he will be important for us in the second half of the season.”
Considering De Keteleaere is just 21 years old and had never previously played outside of Belgium, it stands to reason that missing family and dealing with a serious change of scenery could hinder his ability on the pitch.
Stefano Pioli will be hoping that the break in play and the chance to see his family again will mean that De Ketelaere can be more dangerous off of the bench and can start to challenge for a starting place in the team.
De Ketelaere at AC Milan so far
The attacking midfielder signed for Milan after a very long and drawn-out negotiation that cannot have been easy for him to deal with. The move eventually happened at the start of August and it cost the Rossoneri €32 million.
For that money, many fans expected an instant impact but that has not been the case. The club appear to have total faith that De Ketelaere just needs time to settle in.
He has played 13 times for Milan in Serie A, but he only started roughly a third of those games. He is yet to score in any competition and has one assist to his name, which came in a 2-0 win over Bologna in August.
He also only featured for 15 minutes of Belgium’s disappointing 2022 Qatar World Cup campaign in which the Red Devils were knocked out in the group stage.
In his 120 appearances for Club Brugge before the move, De Ketelaere scored 25 goals and got 20 assists.