De Ketelaere looks different and is ready for Milan-Atalanta

Looking at CDK data compared at the same point in the season, it is hard to believe that we are talking about the same player. Atalanta will redeem him and in the meantime Milan fans fear the joke at San Siro

Marco Pasotto

It is now a ritual that is renewed from time to time: Milan meet Atalanta and the Rossoneri fans fatalistically (and disconsolately) formulate the oracle: “Is everyone ready for De Ketelaere’s goal?”. As a sort of nemesis, of divine and sporting justice in the context of a history that has always drastically divided the AC Milan people, and still divides them today. On the one hand, Charles’ “orphans”, who place the blame on Pioli, guilty of not being able to make him pay. And on the club, guilty of having dumped him elsewhere without the necessary patience. On the other hand, those who argue that CDK did not have broad enough shoulders to play at San Siro and wear the Rossoneri. In short, if he has blossomed this year it would only be because, although Bergamo has been a very rich province in terms of football for years now, it is still a province.


There’s no point in dwelling on it for too long: there isn’t any proof and there won’t be, since Atalanta intends to buy out the blond from Bruges at the end of the season, asserting the right of redemption set last summer at 22 million ( as well as a 4 bonus and a percentage on future resale). Pioli said of him on the eve of the match that “Gasperini was very good at finding him more offensive solutions, more suited to his characteristics within that team”. In fact CDK is another player also because Gasp makes him play in a different way. If Pioli believed he needed to use him only in the attacking midfield, in Bergamo Charles plays in the 3-4-1-2 (he is one of the two strikers, and has also learned to coexist with Scamacca), in the 3-4-2-1 (just behind the center forward) and in the 3-4-3 (winger or central striker). Result: up to this point the Belgian has taken part in 17 Dea goals: 10 goals and 7 assists, all democratically spread across the championship, Europa League and Italian Cup.

the data

In the first leg in Bergamo against Milan a goal was missed – which at the time generated irony for the Rossoneri – and then he provided the assist for Lookman’s two-one and there the AC Milan sarcasm disappeared. Comparing the De Ketelaere of a year ago with the current one, as of today, is evidently a merciless exercise. The 10 goals and 7 assists in 2023-24 become one assist without a single goal at this point in the season. And, beyond the macro-numbers, there are also some average data per match which illustrate the differences well: the 0.57 shots on target have become 1.31, the opportunities created have gone from 1.39 to 2.57 , touches in the box from 4.66 to 6.93, attempted dribbles from 3.35 to 3.88. Translated: more danger, closer to the goal, more self-confidence. The third round of the season will be staged on Sunday between the Devil and the Goddess (who knows if the Europa League brings the fourth) and the Rossoneri fans have already been superstitionally “hearing” it for days: “Is everyone ready for De Ketelaere’s goal?”.