De Ketelaere confronts Milan again: aims to ‘pick up the handset’ and retake Atalanta

Charles De Ketelaere, Atalanta’s attacking midfielder, is set to encounter his past as his team faces off against AC Milan this weekend. The Belgian footballer’s recent move from Milan to Atalanta came with its fair share of obstacles, which were not merely linked to tactical considerations but, primarily, to mental challenges.

De Ketelaere’s transfer to Atalanta was considered necessary for his growth as a player, with the club ensuring him the patience—an essential trait of champions—and the peaceful atmosphere he needed to unleash his skills even during challenging times. The player had initially hit the ground running at Atalanta, creating an impressive false-nine duo with Lookman where he brought in quality performances and decisive touches within the game.

However, things started changing from October onwards. A few problems had already surfaced about De Ketelaere’s position on the field, which was seen as limited. Coupled with a lack of continuity, the player’s performances have since become inconsistent, with his last top-notch output being against Juventus.

Saturday’s match against AC Milan offers a fitting backdrop for De Ketelaere’s intended resurgence. “Yes, he is especially keen to prove himself able to bounce back mentally during tough times,” as stated on an Italian football news site,

While De Ketelaere’s knack for football is unquestionable, there is a need for the Belgian midfielder to confidently step up and dare to make things happen, a mindset that is in sync with Atalanta’s vision and values. It boils down to mental resilience and self-belief, which the player needs to regain.

Atalanta remains by his side, demonstrating its continued patience. However, it’s up to De Ketelaere to “pick up the phone” and prove to himself and those who had doubted him after his initial fall last year, that he possesses the tenacity to recover, and excel.

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