Director Paolo Maldini gave his take on the comparisons being made between new AC Milan star Krzysztof Piatek and the legendary Andriy Shevchenko.
Since completing a €35m January transfer from Genoa, Piatek has found the net six times in five games for Milan following Saturday’s brace in their 3-1 victory at Atalanta in the Serie A.
The Poland international is the league’s second-highest scorer overall with 17 goals and just two adrift of Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Therefore, hopes are high among the Rossoneri faithful that Piatek could be the one to fill the void left by Shevchenko.
The ex-Ukrainian striker scored 175 goals in 322 appearances for Milan across two separate spells and led them to glory in the Serie A and Champions League.
But Maldini, who played alongside the now-politician, dismissed those comparisons.
“A lot of people keep comparing Piatek to Andriy Shevchenko, but there’s only one Sheva,” Maldini told Sky Sport Italia.
“Besides, Sheva arrived to join an already very strong team and was the extra champion that allowed us to achieve great results.
“Piatek is doing incredible things and joined in a more difficult moment for the club. If he brings us to great heights, then we’ll all be very happy.”
Milan have been busy laying out foundations for future success with young stars Piatek and Lucas Paqueta arriving last month as part of the rebuilding process after new owners Elliott Management forked out €70m.
“Our objective is to give this club and team a sense of solidity, of having firm foundations, with strong and very young players,” continued Maldini.
“It’s a long process, but the team is listening to its coach and learning from its mistakes.
“These players underestimated themselves at the start, but victories like this help to improve self-esteem.
“Over the last three years, this squad has seen all sorts of things. The club went from Silvio Berlusconi to another Presidency (Yonghong Li) and then this new owner once the summer transfer market was already in full swing.”
Milan will next play host to 17th-place Empoli in their next Serie A fixture on Friday night.