Leonardo revealed that the club may not buy a new left-back but try youth product Ignazio Abate in that position instead.
Despite the recent arrival of striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Milanfans are hoping that the club’s transfer campaign is not quite over yet. The likes of Marek Jankulovski and Gianluca Zambrotta aren’t getting any younger, so according to many a full-back would be a welcome addition to the club.
Lazio’s Lorenzo De Silvestri, Tottenham Hotspurs’ Gareth Bale, and Real Madrid’s Royston Drenthe have already been linked with the club, but now it seems they are considering a different solution altogether.
Coach Leonardo apparently intends to use youth product Ignazio Abate, who usually plays as a winger, in a full-back role.
“His ideal position is of a winger in a 4-4-2 system,” the coach said, as quoted by Goal.com Italia, “but we have thought about putting him at the back. Unfortunately we have not been able to put this into practice because we were missing some midfielders during the preparation period. He has to learn the defensive mechanisms, but he runs a lot and can adapt.”
Abate himself has confirmed that, in order to play more, he is willing to change his position.
“I’ve talked about it with the coach various times,” the 22-year-old said. “It could be a possibility. In the last few matches, due to the absences of [Gennaro] Gattuso, [Massimo] Ambrosini, and [Andrea] Pirlo, the coach opted to play me in midfield, but as soon as there is an opportunity we will try it.
“I already played as a wing-back with Modena in Serie B, at Empoli I was a left winger and a playmaker, and at Torino a wide player in a 3-5-2 system…”