Andrea Poli hopes Riccardo Montolivo will ‘come back stronger than before’ and expresses desire to get more minutes.
Poli played 86 minutes in the 5-0 win over Chiasso on Saturday and the midfielder, who was involved in just 105 minutes in the first 7 matches of the season, scored a great volley in the 13′ minute.
The Rossoneri played that match on the same day Riccardo Montolivo underwent knee surgery and an ACL injury he suffered on Thursday while playing for Italy against Spain, will keep him out for 5-6 months.
“I want to send wishes to a friend and a great teammate who suffered a serious injury – Riccardo, please come stronger than before,” Poli told reporters at the end of the match. “We’ll definitely miss him and we’ll play for him. When we heard of the injury there was great distress in the team.
“I’ve known him for years, he’s a close friend. No one expected it, we’re close to him and we’re sure he’ll come back stronger than before. He’s one of the few players [on the squad] to have so many international appearances. Riccardo is often criticized and there are those who agree with the criticism and those who don’t. To me, he’s a great person who always gives 100%.
“Manuel Locatelli? He has great desire, he’s ready and he showed it in the games he played over the past month. We will help him grow further, he is a guy who knows how to listen to advice and can become an important player, who room for improvement. Sosa and Locatelli are both quality players who can play in that role, but then it will be up to the manager to decide who to field.
“The substitutes? There are players who have quality and know how to do well in that role, but then the coach will decide who to field. My role in the squad? I’ve always felt important and tried to do my best for this shirt. The desire is to play more; I wouldn’t be honest if I said otherwise.
“But we are only at the beginning of the season. The most important thing is that we continue playing like we are doing. We can and must continue on this track. I know that Montella trusts me. I just have to do what he asks and train to be ready if he needs me.”