AC Milan’s M’Baye Niang says his ambition is to be better than France great Thierry Henry.
Niang, 18, is nominally a winger but has played in a central role too, and some have suggested he could eventually mirror Henry’s successful switch from the flank to the middle of attack.
The Caen youth product refused to be compared with Henry so soon in his fledgling career, but said he would eventually like to exceed his compatriot’s achievements.
“No, I am a long way off him (Henry) yet,” Niang told Milan’s official website.
“He achieved so much and I have to work hard, but my objective is to become better than Henry.”
Niang joined Milan from Caen in August and, although he took some months to break into the first team, he has since become a regular starter under Massimiliano Allegri in 2013.
“There is only Milan for me,” he said, dismissing speculation he might move away from San Siro in the near future.
“Yes, I was born in Paris and I like Paris Saint-Germain, but I want to win everything here, starting with the Champions League.
“At the start I struggled because Italian football is very tactical and physical, but everything is fine now. Milan are a great club and I love many things about them. Everyone here helps you out. I need to learn a lot from the coach and his staff.
“When I played for Caen, my objective was to join a big club. Today I am at Milan and hope to stay as long as possible.”
Niang had a golden opportunity to score an away goal in Milan’s round-of-16 second-leg clash with Barcelona, his shot instead striking the woodwork, but he insisted the eventual 4-0 Camp Nou defeat is already history.
“I was unlucky in Barcelona, but I am still young and can make up for it in another game at that level,” he said.
“The Barcelona game is in the past and I don’t think about it anymore.
“As for in Serie A, I really don’t want to lose against Inter, even if truth be told I want to win against everyone we face.”