Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso has insisted that he wants Gonzalo Higuain to stay, while he’s been left impressed by new signing Lucas Paqueta.
As noted by The Sun, Chelsea continue to be heavily linked with a swoop for the Argentine ace as doubts have emerged over his future with us despite only being halfway through his season-long loan spell.
It remains to be seen whether or not an exit materialises this month, but given the lack of firepower that we’re already struggling with, it would be a huge mistake to allow him to leave without any guarantee that we can sign a capable replacement.
With that in mind, Gattuso has reiterated that he hopes the 31-year-old remains with us, and has praised him for the professionalism that he has continued to show despite the rumours circulating over his future.
Gattuso on Higuain
“If Gonzalo wasn’t training the way I like to see, then I would not have made the decision to use him in the squad against Sampdoria,” he said, as noted by MilanNews.it.
“There is gossip around him at this moment, but seeing the way he trains, the effort he puts in and the professionalism with which he treats me, you wouldn’t know. I hope Higuain remains as long as possible, but if that doesn’t happen, then we’ll see. As long as he is here and continues to behave with this level of professionalism, it won’t be a problem for me.”
Meanwhile, reassuringly Gattuso added that new recruit Paqueta has settled well and has impressed him this week after being officially unveiled by the Rossoneri on Tuesday.
It appears as though he may even have done enough to convince the Milan boss to hand him his debut against Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia on Saturday evening, but time will tell if he’s physically and mentally ready.
Gattuso on Paqueta
“He’s smart, a player with very clear characteristics. He seems more European than Brazilian, as he combines quality with physical strength, sprays passes around and always wants the ball. We’ve made a huge signing.”
It is of course hoped that our new Brazilian starlet is able to show his worth immediately, and so perhaps between this weekend’s encounter with Sampdoria and the return to Serie A action against Genoa on January 21, it would be a boost for all concerned to see what he can offer the team moving forward.
Elsewhere, Gattuso also discussed the latest injury situation, providing updates on Andrea Conti, Mattia Caldara, Lucas Biglia and Suso, with the latter trio missing this weekend.
Gattuso on injuries
“With Suso, it’s the same problem that has bothered him for a month now. He has already gritted his teeth against SPAL, now he’s not in a position to take to the pitch. Caldara and Biglia have made progress, they are doing very well, I think they’ll be available in between 25-30 days.
“Everyone forgets what Conti has gone through. In one year, he had two surgeries. Andrea should be happy with what he did at the end of 2018. I have to give him continuity, to get minutes in his legs. He’s doing very well.”