Aster Vranckx was presented to the press today and he feels ready to step in for Franck Kessié.
After making his Milan debut last night in the difficult 2-1 win over Sampdoria at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Vranckx was today presented to the journalists at Milanello.
The 19-year-old Belgian, who joined from Wolfsburg on loan with option to buy, answered questions from the media:
The feeling is that Milan really wanted you just like you wanted them. You’re very young, but how were you feeling about Milan? What does this Club represent for you?
“First of all, for me it represents a very, very big club with a lot of things they did in the history, a lot of great players that passed, and I just want to be part of it. So I just keep training and hope I can every time grab some more minutes.”
Last year you had Coach van Bommel who was a great midfielder. How important was it for you and how did it influence you as a midfielder to be trained by him?
“It was very good, because first of all he had a big career so I could learn a lot of things from him, and as a person also he was very good with me, always giving me some tips to get better and better, so it was a good experience for me.”
I’d like to know from you how were the emotions and feelings you had last night when you had the opportunity and Mister Pioli called you in, in such an important and challenging match. How was it in the 20 minutes played last night?
“I think it were hard minutes, first of all because we were in 10, but I think I just came in with the mentality to just run every meter I have to run to help the team, to not concede a goal. So that was the most important thing for me, and I was very happy to make my debut for Milan.”
You said you helped the team and you gave your contribution last night, but you also showed very good skills, some forward actions that actually showed how big of qualities you have. Do you have any player you have been inspired by in your career? Even though you’re very young, is there anyone you have always looked at?
“Maybe when I was young – and still now – I always looked at Moussa Dembélé. So this is really a player I admire and there are also other good players but I always looked a lot at Dembélé.”
Last night we had some footage and images of you having a conversation with Mister Pioli, and also many other images during training sessions here, we’ve seen that you often talk to each other. So we’d like to know what did he tell you, what were the words you exchanged last night and how is the feeling with him?
“In the game it was more tactical things, but I think this is between me and him what he said. But he always tries to help me, giving me some tips, teaching me the way Milan play. So he actually always tries to help me with some things.”
You know this is the jersey of the Campioni d’Italia, it’s a very important jersey. But in this first period here, in this very important sporting facility, how was your feeling and how do you feel adapting to this new reality?
“For me, it was first of all a big pleasure to be a part of the team, that of course last year was Champion and in the past years also did a lot of good things. So for me, it was a big pleasure. And also the facilities are top, so it even pushes me more to work hard, so it’s good.”
You’ve now joined a club with several Belgian players, so did you call Saelemaekers, or talked to De Ketelaere or Origi? Did you exchange opinions with them before coming here?
“I know Alexis and Divock just from one training session with the national team, but I already played a long time ago with Charles. So I called Charles also to ask how the club is, how the team is, so yeah I talked to him before I came here.”
You are a midfielder, you are Under 21 national team players. What are your expectations? What are your characteristics? In what positions do you prefer to play and how do you see yourself on the pitch?
“Honestly for me, I just want to play in the midfield; if I’m in the midfield then I’m already happy. I’m not a player who doesn’t like to play defensively or offensively, so for me it’s equal, but I always like to go a little more in attack. But defensively I also like it so they’re both good for me.”
You’ve talked with Saelemaekers and with the other teammates, and we have here Maldini and Massara who really represent the new trend of the club which is focused on training young players. How does it affect you seeing that Milan invest a lot in young players?
“For me this was also one of the big reasons I really wanted to come here, because I see there are a lot of young guys and they do all good because last year they played Champions, so I really want to be a part of this team so it pushes me to come.”
The directors looked around a lot to try and replace a player such as Franck Kessié, who was very important midfielder who contributed to the Scudetto. Do you think you’re ready to replace a player like Kessié?
“I think I came here with the feeling to bring something to the team so in my head I’m always positive and I always want to show what I have, so yes – I’m ready.”
We’ve already talked about last night’s match, and since you also have international experience and you already talked about the emotions of playing in a moment that was a difficult moment – can you tell us something more about how you felt in finding yourself in such a situation where the match was in a hard moment?
“Like I said, we were in 10, so we all have to stay together as a team, to press, to come back to defense, to do everything. So we were just giving our lives to not concede a goal, and I think this is just the mentality I went into the game with, to not concede a goal and to keep the ball in the team and that’s what we did.”
So in about one year, why should Milan use their option to buy you and have you as an official player of the club? What do you think you should do to deserve such a situation?
“I think, first of all, to work every day hard in training and when I get the opportunity to play then to give the best I have and then hopefully we’ll win.”
If we look at your statistics and records, we see that you have a very high number of retrieved balls. Do you think this is one of your main characteristics, especially when you are under pressing? Is this when you are able to retrieve more balls?
“Yes, this is for sure one of my qualities to intercept balls and attack, yes.”