Christian Pulisic’s arrival at AC Milan will boost the team’s chances of winning trophies, teammate Rafael Leao said.
The United States captain joined the Italian giants on a permanent transfer from Chelsea for a £20 million ($25.6 million) fee earlier this month.
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“I feel good because [Pulisic’s arrival] pushes me as well to do more,” Leao told ESPN.
“Imagine, maybe the coach [Stefano Pioli] can put Pulisic in my position, but in my head, you need quality to add to the team to make a difference, like me.
“It’s important to have serious, high-quality players as that will help us to get trophies.”
Milan lifted the Scudetto in the 2021-22 campaign but finished fourth in Serie A last season.
Leao, who scored 15 goals and set up 10 more in 35 league appearances last season, has been impressed by what he has seen so far from Pulisic.
Pulisic, 24, made his first appearance for Milan in a 3-2 preseason defeat to Real Madrid on Sunday.
“I really like him,” Leao said. “I like players that are not afraid to get the ball and go one against one, one against two, one against three. He’s fast. He can shoot with the left foot, with the right foot. I’m really enjoying it [watching Pulisic].”
Pulisic played just eight league games for Chelsea last season and recently admitted he was eager to move away from Stamford Bridge “to find that joy at a club level again.”
AC Milan CEO Giorgio Furlani is convinced Pulisic will deliver at the San Siro.
“He’s going to play with us,” he said. “He got a bit unlucky at Chelsea but he’s a great player. We really think he’s going to do well and it’s going to be exciting.
“We signed Christian because we think he is a great player and he brings a lot. The coach is happy, the staff is happy, his teammates are really happy, so that’s priority number one, two and three.”
Pulisic’s move to Milan is also a big boost for the club’s footprint in both the U.S. and global market.
“I’d say 90%-plus is the on-field part,” Furlani said. “AC Milan is a global brand in soccer and sports and we like to sign players that are consistent and have a global appeal. That part comes in as well. First and foremost, it’s about how good of a player [Pulisic] is.
“We saw a big uptake in terms of interest in the U.S. The AC Milan shirts we sold in the U.S. in the week after [Pulisic] signed, 90%-plus were [No.] 11 Pulisic. We definitely saw that and hopefully it will continue. I’m sure it will.”
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