Fabio Capello compares Milan star Rafael Leao to Nicolò Zaniolo and believes the Rossoneri ‘must attack’ Tottenham who have defensive issues.

The Rossoneri are preparing to face Spurs at San Siro tomorrow in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16.

Leao was dropped for games against Sassuolo and Inter but returned to the starting XI in a 1-0 win over Torino on Friday.

“Leao remains a phenomenon, he is not the same as last season, but he can’t be left out,” Capello told Radio Anch’io lo Sport on Monday morning.

“He is a fundamental player for Mian. Perhaps, right now he is not advised properly, just like Zaniolo. You can tell their head is elsewhere they are focused on contracts.”


Leao’s contract expires in June 2024 and the Rossoneri have been in talks with the Portuguese striker for several months but failing to reach an agreement.

“They should talk to him; dropping him is useless. On the contrary, it only makes him feel sadder, while he must feel important and be helped by his teammates,” continued Capello.

“There are financial problems, the famous fine that nobody wants to pay, but he and Theo Hernandez make the difference for Milan and have something more than the others.”

Both Leao and Theo will start against Tottenham tomorrow and Stefano Pioli will see Fikayo Tomori and Ismael Bennaecr return to action.

“Tottenham struggled in the last game with Leicester City,” noted Capello.

“They were weak in midfield and defence. They have excellent players such as Harry Kane who can cause big trouble for Milan, but they have issues in defence, so Milan must attack.”

The Rossoneri are level on points with Atalanta and Roma with 41 points but are currently out of the top four in Serie A on goal difference.

Pioli and Pierre Kalulu will address the media at a pre-match press conference on Monday at 13.30 GMT.

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