For the first time in a very long time, Tiemoué Bakayoko isn’t waking up on a Friday being lambasted by the Italian media.
Normally a regular in Gazzetta dello Sport’s “The Worst” section after a game, normally in the Europa League, the Chelsea loanee isn’t anywhere near there this time around, picking up his team’s second best rating.
Only 0.5 behind their man of the match, goalscorer Suso, the defensive midfielder even gets some praise from the pink paged newspaper, applauding Gennaro Gattuso’s belief in the 24-year-old: “Yesterday’s game showed why the manager is right: trusting him is worth it. Great in covering and on the goal: he’s the one who misled Paul Lopez.”
On what should have been an indirect free-kick, Bakayoko’s run in front of the goalkeeper was distracting enough that the Spaniard’s cross ended up bouncing in at the far post.
Over at Corriere dello Sport, the feeling is mutual, describing his performance as a ‘sign of progress, lending a great helping hand in midfielder and ‘fighting with character’.
His many vital tackles and interceptions are also pointed out as he is given a 6.5/10, just like Gazzetta.
A sign of things to come? Both Chelsea fans, who don’t want him back, and Milan, who have already paid €5m for his services, will be hoping so.