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press-conference02 September 2021

BAKAYOKO: "I'VE RETURNED TO A STRONGER AC MILAN"

"I can't wait to play" - the French midfielder's first thoughts

A much-desired return that has finally come to fruition: Tiémoué Bakayoko is ready to wear the AC Milan shirt again. Today, the French midfielder, who is back after two seasons away, held his presentation press conference at Milanello, with his words being broadcast live on Milan TV, the AC Milan Official App and AC Milan's official YouTube channel.

RETURN TO THE ROSSONERI
"I remember my last match against SPAL in Ferrara, we came very close to finishing fourth. I’m very happy to be back here and to have joined a team that qualified for the Champions League and is much improved compared to two years ago. I’ve missed everything here: the team, the fans, the city. Previously, I was the only Frenchman here, but now there are many players who speak the language. This is a much stronger AC Milan side, and I can’t wait to play."

CONNECTION TO THE ROSSONERI WORLD
"I’ve always felt a very strong bond with all the fans and sensed their affection at all times. It wasn’t easy at the beginning, but I gained more and more confidence every day and hope to repay the affection displayed by the Rossoneri fans in the best possible way. I’ve been struck by the improvements that have been made at the training centre and the Club’s growth in the past two years."

RELATIONSHIP WITH MALDINI
"I have a great relationship with Paolo [Maldini, ed.]. He’s really helped me right from my first day here and is a fantastic person. I’ve learnt a lot from him."

OBJECTIVES
"I consider AC Milan to be my true home. Here, you need to give your all, and I’ll try to give absolutely everything in order to win trophies. What am I looking for? During my career, I’ve always wanted peace of mind, happiness and the opportunity to win. I’d like to stay here and will do everything possible to ensure that this happens."

TEAMMATES
"I get along with Franck [Kessie, ed.] very well, I’m pleased that he’s had a lot of success. In the last two years, he’s made great strides forward, and I hope he remains here in the future. Ibra? Everyone knows what he’s all about character-wise. He serves as an example to us, and we need to try to replicate his professionalism. I’m happy that I’ll be able to play with him, learn new things and follow his example. I spoke to Giroud and Tomori before returning here: they were very happy about the prospect of my arrival and encouraged me to make this choice."

ROLE
"I spoke to the Coach straight away and there was a calm feeling immediately. I know that I’ll need to earn my place in a side that is doing very well and has achieved great results. In recent games, the team have performed well in midfield. I’m ready and determined to take on this challenge. The Coach will make his assessments, but I’ll try to bring experience and enthusiasm. I’ll give my all."

FROM GATTUSO TO PIOLI
"I’ve only been involved in two training sessions and don’t know what will change. I’m ready to follow the Coach’s instructions, but, at this current time, I don’t think they’ll be much different to those I received during my first experience here. I feel ready to play in a three-man or two-man central midfield. I won’t be playing on my own but with my teammates, and the Coach will decide the team’s set-up. I believe I can make a contribution in both cases."

SERIE A
"I think that this team can challenge for the Scudetto. AC Milan came second last year, and, in order to achieve our aim, we need to take things one game at a time."


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