Castillejo has found form at Milan and hopes for lengthy stay
- After struggling to make an impact upon his arrival from Villarreal, Samu Castillejo feels ready to make his mark at Milan.
Samu Castillejo thinks he has finally found his feet at Milan and hopes to stay at the club for a long time.
Milan signed Castillejo in August 2018 in a deal worth a reported €18million but he struggled to establish himself initially, starting just eight Serie A games in his first season at San Siro.
The 25-year-old was linked with a move away in the previous transfer window, with Atletico Madrid and Espanyol said to have been interested.
However, Castillejo stayed put and started 11 games in a row prior to the season being put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, contributing four assists and a goal in that run.
He now believes he has turned a corner and hopes to hold onto a regular spot in Stefano Pioli's starting line-up.
"Those who know me know how tough I am, beyond the appearance I give with my hair and tattoos. I'm a very humble boy," Castillejo told AS.
"The first year was adaptive, it is difficult to show what you can do when getting just 15 minutes and only starting one game every two or three weeks.
"If there is confidence and you're made to feel important you feel better about yourself.
"I always wanted to succeed here. I want to stay at the club for a long time. The truth is that 2020 had started well. I have played every game and at a good level. I hope it continues like this."
Milan enjoyed an upturn in form after Zlatan Ibrahimovic was brought back to the club for a second spell in January.
Castillejo is enjoying working alongside veteran striker Ibrahimovic and feels he has lifted the atmosphere at the club.
"He is a very humble guy. He is a guy who gets along with all his team-mates, off the pitch is a real joker and nice," said Castillejo.
"During games he knows how to give advice. You can tell he came to help us; sharing the dressing room and the pitch with him makes you learn a lot."