Saponara: I want to be AC Milan's Di Maria

The attacking midfielder is looking to model his game on that of the Argentina international as he looks to make an impact at San Siro in the coming season
Riccardo Saponara has voiced his admiration for Real Madrid attacker Angel Di Maria and is hopeful of becoming a key player at AC Milan this season.

The 22-year-old joined Milan from Empoli in the summer of 2013, but failed to make an impact in his first season at the San Siro side.

Saponara remains confident that he can become important at Milan, though, and is determined to convince head coach Filippo Inzaghi of his qualities by emulating the standards of the Argentina star.

"My role model is Di Maria. He has attacking qualities, but he has shown that he can do everything," Saponara told the official Milan website.

"I'm coming off the back of a year of experience and settling in. I'm learning so much and the coach is helping me. I have a lot of desire to learn and convince the coach.

"When Inzaghi said he would have given me another chance, I didn't even think twice and I decided to stay here.

"I have a lot to give in physical terms. I played very little last season, but I feel that I have big margins for improvement. The faith from the fans is a matter of pride and a great responsibility."

Saponara has made seven Serie A appearances for Milan so far, but has failed to score in his Rossoneri career so far.