Leeds told they managed lucky escape as legendary boss brands summer target a ‘confused boy’ who is ‘scared to play’

Charles de Ketelaere, AC Milan, October 2022 Credit: Alamy
Charles de Ketelaere, AC Milan, October 2022 Credit: Alamy

Legendary Italian manager Arrigo Sacchi has described a Leeds United summer target as “confused” and “scared to play” as it seems the Whites managed a lucky escape.

Charles De Ketelaere was a player linked with a number of Premier League sides over the past year. Indeed, he had impressed at Club Brugge, leading to the interest.

The Belgian scored 14 goals and provided seven assists in the Pro League last season.

The likes of Leeds, Leicester City and Everton were among the sides linked with De Ketelaere. While some of those seemed to just be rumours, Leeds held a genuine interest.

Indeed, the Whites pursued the forward for much of the summer. They battled fiercely with AC Milan for the star’s signature.

A bid from Leeds was not enough to snare De Ketelaere, and he eventually made a £28.8million move to Milan.

To this point, the Belgian has made 15 appearances for last season’s Serie A champions in a number of different positions.

While he has played fairly often, De Ketelaere has been involved in just one goal – an assist against Bologna in August.

Sacchi brands De Ketelaere ‘scared’

Milan would have expected more offensive output from their lucrative summer signing. Former Milan boss Sacchi has blasted De Ketelaere for how he has played so far.

“These days, he is a confused boy. You have to be patient. He’s afraid to play. He comes in with anxiety of having to prove his worth. I hope he can start to show his qualities,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

It may just be that the forward has not adapted to the new league as quickly as was expected. However, for a player that was so prolific in front of goal last season, he would have been expected to hit the ground running.

It does seem that Sacchi is expecting the former Brugge ace to come good at some point soon.

Milan will want that to happen sooner rather than later for a number of reasons. Firstly, they will want to have a good crack at defending their league title.

Furthermore, they will not want to have to entertain the idea of selling the player, given he is not performing.

Leeds managed lucky escape

Should Leeds have signed De Ketelaere, they might have had to pay a record fee. To do so and have a player not perform would have been devastating.

As such, seeing how their summer target is struggling will show them that they managed a lucky escape.

While the Whites have not had the best of starts, at least they are not expecting major output from a forward who is yet to perform.

They will be slightly more happy that they missed out on De Ketelaere than they would have been during the transfer window.

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