5 August 2014 11:47
Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini feels he and Mario Balotelli can form a strong partnership during Filippo Inzaghi’s maiden season in charge.
Pazzini made the move to Milan from city rivals Inter in 2012 but endured a difficult campaign last time out as he suffered with injury and fell out of favour when Massimiliano Allegri was replaced by Clarence Seedorf in January.
Limited to just seven Serie A starts and two league goals, Pazzini struggled for form as Milan stuttered to an eighth-place finish.
With Seedorf’s former Milan team-mate Inzaghi now at the helm, Pazzini believes he and Balotelli can prove the ideal combination up front.
“Mario and I can work together fine. He likes to move around the area, I like to stay inside to finish. So we are complementary,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport before dismissing criticisms around Balotelli’s movement.
“You can try to consign strikers to a rigid system but it is difficult to change the characteristics of a player who has liked playing in a particular way for some time.
“Anyway, I see him as calm, he is training well and has great ideas in mind.”
Pazzini underwent knee surgery prior to the start of last season and did not make his first appearance of the campaign until January.
Despite scoring twice early in Seedorf’s reign, he failed to secure a regular place under the Dutchman.
However, Pazzini revealed that former Milan striker Inzaghi has made a positive impact during the close-season.
“It’s a shame because after my injury I had returned well, I was training well and had also scored a couple of goals,” he added.
“It happened to me several times that I would go to sleep one evening as a starter and wake up on the day of the game on the bench.
“A little more than compared to the others, [Inzaghi] speaks to me. It happens with some frequency.
“He always gives me a lot of advice on correct movements and situations on the field.
“Maybe I happen to say: ‘Mister, I could not get to the ball’. And he tells me what he did in a similar situation when he was playing.
“I do not feel privileged, it is simply that I play in what was his position.”