AC Milan boss challenges Chukwueze to match ex-Chelsea star's performance

AC Milan’s Samuel Chukwueze has had a frustrating first season at the club. | Imago

AC Milan boss challenges Chukwueze to match ex-Chelsea star's performance

Faruq Ibrahim 20:41 - 26.02.2024

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli has called out Samuel Chukwueze to up his game.

AC Milan’s coach Stefano Pioli has openly called upon Super Eagles sensation Samuel Chukwueze to elevate his game and become a pivotal force in the attacking third. 

The 24-year-old winger, who sealed a move to the seven-time UEFA Champions League titans last summer following a noteworthy six-year spell at Villareal in Spain's top flight, is under the spotlight for his underwhelming performance in his new Italian residence.

During his tenure with the Yellow Submarines, Chukwueze clinched the UEFA Europa League in 2021, triumphing over Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United through a nail-biting penalty shootout. 

His contribution to Villareal was significant, having a hand in 68 goals. However, the transition to AC Milan hasn't mirrored his previous form, with a modest tally of two goals in twenty-one appearances.

The Battle for Position: Pulisic vs. Chukwueze

Amidst competition for the right-wing slot with former Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic, Chukwueze finds himself in a tight race. 

Pulisic's stellar performance, boasting eight goals and seven assists across all competitions, sets a high benchmark. Pioli's recent remarks shed light on the situation, emphasizing the need for Chukwueze to match or exceed Pulisic’s contributions.

Samuel Chukwueze in action for AC Milan || Imago
Samuel Chukwueze in action for AC Milan || Imago

“Pulisic and Chukwueze have the same characteristics, they’re similar players and play the same positions. Pulisic scores goals, gets assists and creates chances. He works, and Chukwueze has to do the same. He has to score goals, to get assists, and has to work,” Pioli articulated on the club's official website.

Pioli's Expectations: Chukwueze's Call to Action

The recent 1-1 draw against Atalanta, with Chukwueze observing from the bench while Ademola Lookman took to the field, was a clear message from Pioli. The decision not to deploy Chukwueze underscores the coach's current stance and expectation for a more decisive impact from the Nigerian international. 

As AC Milan continues its quest for domestic and European glory, the onus is on Chukwueze to rise to the occasion, mirroring his previous success and proving his mettle in the highly competitive Italian Serie A.

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