AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso has criticised loan signing Tiemoue Bakayoko following the Chelsea player’s failure to acclimatise to life in Serie A in their loss to title rivals Napoli, with the coach describing the player as having "defects".
The Rossoneri blew a two-goal lead against their opponents to fall to a 3-2 defeat in their opening game of the new campaign.
Frenchman Bakayoko started the game on the bench and was introduced early in the second half when Milan led 2-1 to shore up the defence for the visitors.
Instead, however, the 24-year-old failed to ensure a watertight effort at the back, allowing strikes from Piotr Zielinski and Dries Mertens to rescue three points for the hosts.
Bakayoko also missed with a close-range header from a corner with the scores tied at 2-2 and Gattuso made his displeasure known with the season-long loanee, stating that he would have rather been able to call on a more experienced player.
"Bakayoko has to learn how to get the ball," the 40-year-old told his post-match press conference. "We must work correctly. It will not be easy.
"One week is not enough to remove the defects of a player. I would have preferred to be managing older, more experienced club players."
Bakayoko arrived at Milan in August following a lacklustre first season at Stamford Bridge, having originally signed for Chelsea last year from Monaco on a five-year deal for a fee around £40m (€44m/$51m).
The Serie A outfit have the option to turn their €5m loan buy into a permanent deal for an additional €35m if the defensive midfielder ultimately impresses at San Siro.
Gattuso has seen a host of players exit during the transfer window, including Italy international Leonardo Bonucci, who has departed for Serie A rivals Juventus, and Croatian forward Nikola Kalinic, who has joined La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid.