One of the dangers inherent in loaning players to other clubs is the loanees themselves falling in love with their new surroundings, teammates, fans, etc. The latest in that line is young Mario Pasalic, currently on loan at historic AC Milan, of whom he’s spoke glowingly on several occasions already.
Last Friday, Pasalic gave the Rossonero a great Christmas present by converting the penalty that won the Italian Super Cup over Juventus. The young midfielder is clearly enjoying his time at the club and according to his agent, Marko Naletilic, he already has Milan is his heart.
“He’s very proud to have scored the decisive penalty and wear the AC Milan shirt. Montella has shown great faith in him and has given him confidence after his long injury. This is something Mario appreciates a lot. He still has room for improvement – he’s at 70 per cent now.”
“His future will depend on several factors: on Chelsea, Milan, and him, of course. His wish counts and I can say that Mario already has AC Milan in his heart.”
-Marko Naletilic; Source: Gazzetta dello Sport via FourFourTwo
This is not the first time that Pasalic’s agent hinted at a permanent stay at Milan for the 21-year-old. And in an interview to Mediaset Premium earlier this month, Milan CEO Adriano Galliani suggested that the club could exercise an option to buy that’s been included in the player’s loan deal.
Thus, if Pasalic continues to impress his manager, there’s won’t be many obstacles in the way of making his temporary stay at Milan a permanent one next summer.
Gary Cahill Hoping Chelsea FC Break League Wins Streak Record
While Chelsea FC Manager Antonio Conte doesn’t really embrace discussing the team’s current winning streak, and the chance to make history, Blues Defender Gary Cahill does.
On Boxing Day, Chelsea beat Bournemouth 3-0 to set a new club milestone for consecutive wins. This was their 12th victory in a row and if they win the next two, they’ll tie 2001-2002 Arsenal (the Gunners matched that mark again the following season) for the most consecutive triumphs in Premier League history.
“We know about it, I’m aware of it and of course you want to be involved in teams that break records and do well,” Cahill said.
The boss took a slightly different approach.
“To win 12 games in a row is not easy in this league,” said the Italian.
“It’s a fantastic run but it’s important to continue that now.
“In four days we have another tough game and we have to prepare very well. Because now, every team wants to beat you.”
Chelsea has already broken one record in 2016-17.
Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois: This is how Arsenal and Liverpool helped us to the top
English Premier League (EPL) leaders Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois feels the capital football club’s record winning streak started with back-to-back league losses in September.
Antonio Conte’s side beat Bournemouth 3-0 on Monday to make it 12 EPL wins in a row. They moved nine points provisionally clear at the top.
“We knew that maybe our mentality was not right in those two games we lost against Liverpool and Arsenal. They were tough games and we didn’t have the same intensity as Arsenal or Liverpool. If you don’t put the same intensity in as the other side, you will not win that kind of game,” Courtois was quoted as saying by the Daily Star.
“So that’s why we talked as a team about making a step up at that point, because we didn’t want to have the same season as last year.
We needed to step up and that’s what we did. Obviously with the current run of wins of course we would say we are doing maybe better than expected after a bad season last year,” he added.
However, the Belgian international felt that they still need to keep working hard in order to finish at the top at the season-end.
“We are top of the league with more points than we had after this many games when we were champions two years ago,” he said.
“So that says we are doing well, but we have to keep on working hard and fighting a lot against the teams who defend more and are hard to break down. We will try to do our best and keep the run going.”
Next up for Conte’s side is the visit of Stoke City on New Year’s Eve. After 18 games Chelsea are on 46 points, seven clear of second-placed Manchester City who have played the same number of matches.