Samuel Chukwueze recently sealed a £28m move to Italian giants AC Milan, after spending the last seven years with Villarreal, winning the Europa League in 2021
Former Nigerian professional footballer, who is now working his trade in management, Matthew Olorunleke, has urged AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli to give new signing Samuel Chukwueze the best help he needs to settle well with his new environment, Soccernet.ng reports.
The 24-year-old joined the Rossoneri from LA LILA club Villarreal last month, following weeks of negotiations between the two clubs. Villarreal had placed a £35m fee on the Nigerian and rejected Milan’s initial £20m before both clubs later settled on £28m.
By joining the 7-time European champions, Chukwueze has written his name into history as the sixth Nigerian player to don the famous red and black jersey, after Taribo West, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Aliyu Datti, Taiye Taiwo, and Kingsley Umunegbu.
Chukwueze said in his presentation press conference that his Super Eagles’ teammate Victor Osimhen, who also plays in Italy but pies his trade for Napoli, was a key figure in convincing him to switch to Italy.
The Nigeria International made a trophy-winning debut for the Rossoneri, coming on as a late substitute. Milan won their first trophy in the new season after beating Monza on penalties in the Trofeo Berlusconi final on Tuesday.
He could make his competitive debut for Milan on the 21 August, when they visit Bologna in the opening week of the Serie A season, giving him a chance to get his first experience in the Italian league, having played all his previous European football in Spain.
As is often the case with players settling into a new league, it takes time to see their best performance. Chukwueze might need time before he starts delivering his best performances for Milan, and Olorunleke has seen why he needs to keep his head cool if things don’t work out as planned.
Olorunleke has experienced the highly competitive nature of Italian football, having spent most of his years with the likes of Bagnolese, Trento, Nocerina, Reggianna, and Messina before he returned to Bagnolese as an assistant manager in 2011. He has urged AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli to give Chukwueze the best help he needs to settle well in Italian football.
Chuk on a technical level and in one-on-one he’s very strong. But there’s a problem in terms of balance, I don’t know if Milan can support him and Leao at the same time because the risk is to find each other again with an unbalanced team, He was quoted by TuttomercatoWeb
He spoke further that Chukwueze deserves the same treatment given to Portugal International Rafael Leao, who initially struggled in his early days with the club before becoming a key player for them.
It took Leao years to understand what Italian football is and today he finds himself having to do what Leao did 3-4 years ago. If this boy arrives and does very well as Lookman then it works, but a lot will depend on the coach.
One-on-one starting from the right is deadly, like Leao on the left. Pioli is an experienced coach, he must be managed well on a tactical level because the Italian championship is very difficult, Olorunleke concluded
Chukwueze will aim to help Milan win an unprecedented treble of Serie A, Champions League, and the Coppa Italia this season, having last won the biggest club competition in Europe 17 years ago.