Stefano Pioli is aware of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s importance for Milan but insists his side’s improvement since January does not depend entirely on the player.
Ibrahimovic returned to his former club, Milan last January after leaving the LA Galaxy at the end of his contract.
The 38-year-old once again found an excellent performance when he managed to score 10 goals after twice scoring in a 4-1 win over Sampdoria while scoring an assist.
The result saw The Rossoneri not lose in 12 games, the last time they lost before the season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic last March.
But Pioli believe Milan’s improved performance is starting to shine before the rivalry is postponed.
“I want to make it clear that Milan’s improvement started before the competition was postponed,” he said.
“And we started performing brilliantly since January and were in second or third place as a team that performed brilliantly.”
The increase coincides with the arrival of Ibrahimovic, but Pioli says it stems from a number of different factors.
“Obviously Ibra is very important for our improvement,” he said. “But that is not the only result with the arrival of the player. It is the result of the efforts of each player over the past few months.
2 goals and an assist: @Ibra_official‘s decisive in our goal glut
2 gol e un assist: è Ibra-show nella vittoria di Marassi #SampdoriaMilan #SempreMilan
Sponsored by @skrill. Make your money move pic.twitter.com/ln8E9HjbXT
— AC Milan (@acmilan) July 29, 2020
“Simon Kjaer telah tiba, formasi pasukan telah berubah serta beberapa perkara yang perlu dipertingkatkan sekaligus membenarkan pasukan menampilkan aksi yang cemerlang.”
Ibrahimovic dijangka meninggalkan Milan penghujung musim ini, namun Pioli tidak membenarkan dirinya terlalu bimbang mengenainya ketika saingan berbaki satu perlawanan.
“Ia bukan waktu yang terbaik untuk memikirkan tentangnya.
“Kami masih lagi mempunyai satu perlawanan, kami mengetahui apa yang perlu dilakukan dan kemudian kami akan membuat keputusan.”