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“Reece James put it on him”- Joe Cole claims scouts will question Chelsea target’s attitude in UCL clash

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Manchester United join Chelsea in the race to sign AC Milan star Rafael Leao.

Joe Cole claims scouts will question the attitude of Rafael Leao in the Chelsea game

Speaking on BT Sport after the Chelsea-AC Milan game (h/t Football.London), former Blues winger Joe Cole claims that the scouts will question the attitude of Milan forward Rafael Leao in the Italian side’s defeat at the hands of Chelsea.

Graham Potter’s men ran out comprehensive 3-0 winners at Stamford Bridge to get their first win of this season’s Champions League. None of the Milan players were at their best, and Leao was no different.

Apart from one mazy run late in the first half to go past Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah to set up a shooting opportunity, the Portuguese international struggled to impact the game.

Joe Cole claims scouts will question the attitude of Rafael Leao in the Chelsea game
AC Milan’s Rafael Leao fights for the ball with Chelsea’s Wesley Fofana. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

The Serie A champions did not find him enough times as well. Other than that, his inability to track the runs of James was tangible. The England wing-back was offered so much space down that right-hand side for him to score and assist a goal.

Here’s what Cole said about the 23-year-old’s performance and his attitude problem (h/t Football.London):

“Do you know what? For all of his talent and everything tonight, there will be scouts here, and there will be question marks on his attitude.

“He went like most of his teammates tonight. He went a bit limp against James. He didn’t get his own way. First 20 minutes, he was loving life, chest out, he was running at players.

“Reece James put it on him a bit, and we watched his body language. If you’re going to spend £100million or whatever his price tag will be, you’ve got to tick all of the boxes. There’s still some time left, and he is exciting.”

It is tough to judge a player’s performance in a game in which his team got outplayed. Moreover, Milan missed some key players due to injuries in this game, which was palpable with the gap in quality despite the fact that Chelsea would have been favourites even against the full-strength opponents.

Rafael Leao of AC Milan with former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud before the UEFA Champions League game at Stamford Bridge in October 2022.
Rafael Leao of AC Milan with former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud before the UEFA Champions League game at Stamford Bridge in October 2022. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

But, if you want to play for the big teams, irrespective of whether you are a forward, midfielder or defender, defending and tracking back has to be the minimum a team can ask for. Then, all the qualities on the ball come into play.

Leao didn’t do much of the tracking back, which led to Cole asking questions about his attitude. He is still young though and can be shown what the bare minimum requirements are to become one of the best in the world.

More Chelsea News:

Chelsea are still interested in signing the 23-year-old. They will have another direct look at him in the return game at San Siro next Tuesday.

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