AC Milan’s economic effort to keep him is justified by a series of characteristics that few can boast all together. Last year he played 50 out of 53 and is still on the pitch in Tokyo …
To understand the importance and weight of Franck Kessie in the structure of Milan, one can resort, borrowing it, to an old and apt definition that Vujadin Boskov gave of a great former Milan player: if Ruud Gullit, in the imaginative description of dear Vuja, was “Like a deer coming out of the forest,” Kessie is the forest. Solid trunks scattered far and wide over the entire surface of the field, a dense, moving, impenetrable vegetation. Throughout last season, the Ivorian was the most reliable point of reference for the Rossoneri team. Starting from the constant presence: Franck played 50 of the 53 matches of the interminable Rossoneri season, which began very early with the Europa League preliminaries and almost in continuity with the previous one, and for this very reason battered by a series of injuries to be considered physiological. But the usury did not concern Kessie’s imposing physique – two benches in the Europa League, a match just missed in the league due to disqualification, 46 games as a starter – and it does not seem to continue to concern him, given that the race is also continuing at the Olympics of Tokyo (he is in the quarters with the Ivory Coast). When Pioli lost pieces in series, he knew he could always count on the usual Franck.
Maturity and goals
However, it is not the mere presence that confirms the weight of Kessie, who at 24 is proving to be in the prime of football maturity. In the last season he has grown in terms of personality – becoming a leader of the locker room enough to assume the role of “president” as per his nickname – and impact on the game. And, aspect that is worth even more, on the game that counts. Just remember the night of the success at Juventus or the decisive one in Bergamo with Atalanta, when in the final and decisive minutes for the longed-for entry into the Champions League he defended the ball – with success – from the aggression of three players of the Goddess who were unable to move it one centimeter. And all after scoring the two penalties of the victory. Because Kessie is also practically infallible from the spot, which is not bad: in 2020-21 11 penalties scored (out of 13 batted), plus 2 more goals (and another in the Europa League). The one scored in Udine is exemplary, when he entered the penalty area on the invitation of Ibrahimovic, who should be the “classic” defensive midfielder. Franck defends, covers very large portions of the field, comes to the aid to cover holes and then has this ease and power of running with which he snatches the ball into an almost unstoppable break. For Gazzetta he was the second best player in the league behind Lukaku. Speaking of essentials.
July 30 – 07:54
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