Samuel Chukwueze recently joined AC Milan after spending the last seven years with Villarreal, winning the Europa League in 2021 after a penalty shootout win over Manchester United
AC Milan coach, Stefano Pioli, explains his reasons for starting Samuel Chukwueze on the bench in the club’s opening match of the Italian top-flight campaign against Bologna on Monday, Soccernet.ng reports.
The 24-year-old Nigeria International came off the bench to make his Serie A debut in the 74th minute, when he replaced new signing Christian Pulisic.
Former Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud gave Milan the lead in the 11th minute after good work that involved two summer arrivals, Christian Pulisic, and Tijjani Reijnders.
Giroud turned out to be the provider of the second goal in the 21st minute, when he assisted Pulisic to double the Rossoneri advantage.
Despite removing the leg on the brake in the second half, the seven-time European champions held onto their 2-0 lead to kickstart their campaign on a winning note.
However, Pioli has explained his reason for not starting Chukwueze and two other new signings, Noah Okafor and Yunus Musah, in the league opener.
It’s always exciting before the first game of the season, we’re curious to see what we can come up with, Pioli told DAZN, as quoted by Calciomercato.
We are playing those who are most ready, who have been working together since July. Chukwueze, Okafor, and Musah only arrived two weeks ago, but I don’t think it will take them long to be at the same level as their teammates.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) August 21, 2023
The Italian boss further said that one of the reasons the club invested heavily this summer is to have different alternatives at every position.
The idea is to have a complete squad, with 20-22 first choice players, because we have a lot of games to play and want to be competitive in every tournament. We need players up to the task.
We will take it one game at a time, but I’m convinced we are forming a good group and now we’ll do our talking on the pitch, Pioli Said
Chukwueze will aim to get his first league goal for Milan when they host Torino at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro) on Saturday.