Article

Kessie a far better player than I was, claims AC Milan coach Gattuso

21 January 2018 21:10

Gennaro Gattuso has claimed Franck Kessie is a far better player than he was, but was keen to praise the collective effort in AC Milan's comeback 2-1 victory at Cagliari.

Kessie earned back-to-back Serie A victories for the Rossoneri for the first time since September with a first-half double – the first of which came from the penalty spot – after a Gianluigi Donnarumma error had allowed Nicolo Barella to open the scoring.

Ricardo Rodriguez was sent off 10 minutes from the end, but Barella was also dismissed in the closing stages as Kessie proved the difference in one of his best outings in a Milan shirt.

And Milan head coach Gattuso, who won two league titles and two Champions League medals during his Milan career, praised the midfielder's impact.

Speaking to Mediaset, he said: "Kessie is a far better player than I ever was because he has seven or eight goals per season.

"In any case we have to focus on the collective and not individuals."

On Donnarumma, who later made a fine stop from substitute Diego Farias, Gattuso added: "There was an error on the goal but when it was 1-0 he kept us in the game with a miracle. These things even themselves out.

"I am happy with the overall performance but we must raise our concentration levels."

Andre Silva was again a noticeable absentee, with the Portugal striker not even used from the bench.

The 22-year-old has yet to score a league goal since joining in the close-season, but Gattuso this week ruled out a January exit amid links to Arsenal and Wolves, insisting he will have plenty of game time.

"We have 11 games in 43 days so there will be room for everyone including Andre Silva," he said. "It's my responsibility if he doesn't play. He is a young, talented forward who needs to improve in a few areas."

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