In the last few days of the transfer window, a defender has signed from Brazil, Flamingo in specific, for 11m named Leo Duarte. Since then, not much has been said about him, even after his debut. Is it a good or a bad thing? The following points will help to answer some questions about him.
Low Signing Fee .. Low Expectations
The timing and the fee of signings can say things about players. As a player who signed late and for only 11m, the fans would think of him as a fill-in especially after Zapata’s departure and Caldara’s continuous injuries. Something worth to mention is that he was a regular starter along side Rodrigo Caio in Flamingo. Leaving a such spot to be a third choice defender is a hard thing to do. Therefore, we can assume that the player was promised to be rewarded a starting spot once he proves himself given that only Romagnoli has a guaranteed place among the centerbacks which he fairly earned. These low expectations take off a huge burden off his back which will help him to remain focused.
Since his arrival, Duarte participated only in a single official match and Milan have won that game. Even though he showed some weakness in terms of aerial deuls, he still has nothing serious affecting his confidence yet. Beside that, his arrival was backed by his former coach and by former Milan player Serginho. Both clearly were confident that he will do well in Milan. It can be looked at as a good luck too considering that former Milan players opinions always live up to the expectations. For example, Shevchencko tried to convince Milan to sign Yarmolenko before joining Borussia Dortmund where he did well there before injuries and he is also doing well with West Ham when he is not injured. Another example is Roberto Firmino, he was backed by Milan’s legend Ricardo Kaka when he joined Liverpool and now he is one of the most important players there. Hopefully it will be the same case with Duarte.
Besides having low expectations for him, Duarte is doing a good job staying out of the spotlight. He is not showing off by his look, he is not trying to draw attention in training photos, and he already has his Instagram account limited to his friends to comment. Social media nowadays have huge effect on players and it is expected that he is trying to avoid major contacts with the fans.
With Musacchio being the favorite to start the matches but still not showing high quality and Caldara not totally fit yet, Duarte has the chance to take the starting spot if he shows his capabilities when he plays either in the last few minutes or the easy matches. With the arrival of Pioli, he may get more playtime comparing to his time under Giampaolo who did not rely on him.