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Pioli: 'Ibrahimovic not Milan saviour'

Stefano Pioli confirmed Zlatan Ibrahimovic could start for Milan against Sampdoria, but warns the veteran striker isn’t “a saviour who has come to rescue us.”

It kicks off on Monday at 14.00 GMT,click here for a match preview.

The week has been dominated by the arrival of Ibrahimovic as a free agent and there are strong reports the 38-year-old will be thrown into the starting XI at San Siro.

“The time has come to turn the tide of this season. We have 21 games to change our situation and have to start strong tomorrow,” said the coach in his press conference.

“Zlatan arrived in good shape and with the right attitude working with the team. He is very curious, concentrated, is getting to know everyone and settling in. It’ll take a little time, but right now we don’t have time to talk, we need action.

“Ibra is not a player like any other, so his presence changed the dynamics and the atmosphere around the club. Today, he was the last Milan player to leave the dressing room. He arrived with enthusiasm and determination, he gets better with every day of training and if he is called up, it means he can play.

“I don’t think we’re treating Ibra like a saviour who has come to rescue us, but he is an added value to the work we’ve been doing. He is a champion, but won’t win games by himself and the whole team has to do much better.”

The Rossoneri ended 2019 in the worst possible way, humiliated 5-0 by Atalanta, and now host Claudio Ranieri’s difficult to beat Sampdoria.

“I expect the team to show great determination to make up for that defeat, but let’s also note it was the only truly negative performance since I got here. It remains an open wound, but we can start to heal it tomorrow,” continued Pioli.

“We have clear ideas on what to do in the January transfer window. We are looking for a defender and other situations that can improve the squad.”

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