AC Milan managing director Adriano Galliani wanted to bring Vincenzo Montella to San Siro two years ago, but is happy to have his man now.
The Rossoneri have lacked stability in the dugout since the departure of Massimiliano Allegri in January 2014, with Clarence Seedorf, Filippo Inzaghi, Sinisa Mihajlovic and Cristian Brocchi each only granted short spells at the helm.
Perhaps as a result, Milan have failed to qualify for European competition since, but the arrival of Montella ahead of the 2016-17 season appears to have put them back on the right path.
The former Sampdoria boss masterminded a 1-0 win over Serie A leaders Juventus on Saturday, closing the gap at the summit to just two points.
While Galliani would have liked to have placed Montella in charge earlier, he is delighted with the strong start he has made this term.
“We also wanted him two years ago, he is here now and we are happy like this,” Galliani told Milan TV.
“We are a flexible team, with a very good manager. We will celebrate knowing that Tuesday we have another tough one [away at Genoa] ahead of us.
“It’s all working out perfectly, we can’t even see one problem. Compared to the past, people have changed a lot.”
Manuel Locatelli, 18, scored the winning goal while 17-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma produced a sensational save to deny Sami Khedira in second-half stoppage time.
Galliani revelled in seeing homegrown players make the difference in such a meaningful fixture.
“It’s incredible, we won the match thanks to a class of 98 and a class of 99 player. Donnarumma’s save reminded me of [Christian] Abbiati’s in the victory against Perugia [that helped win the 1999 Scudetto],” he added.
“What Locatelli is doing is something legendary, he scored a fantastic goal. No one in Europe has a class of ’98 and a class of ’99 in the starting XI, this means we are working well.
“Locatelli has a great family, they will help the boy keep his feet on the ground. He is improving a lot, like Donnarumma. Gigio as well has a lovely family behind him, and this makes the difference.”
After firing the winner past Gianluigi Buffon, Locatelli was delighted and he dedicated the strike to injured captain Riccardo Montolivo, whose knee injury has enabled the teenager to start the last two Serie A matches.
Locatelli said: “When you have a ball like that on your feet you don’t have to stop and think, you shoot and hope to score. I am very happy, but I must keep my feet on the ground.
“I dedicate the goal to my teammates who help me a lot and to our captain Montolivo.”
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