Gianluigi Donnarumma believes that Milan have closed the gap with Inter heading into the first derby of the season, a match that seems “less scary” these days thanks to the presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Rossoneri have a miserable recent record against their city rivals, their last league win in the match was in January 2016.
However, after a good ending in the 2019-20 season that resulted in a contract extension for coach Stefano Pioli, Milan have opened the new campaign with three consecutive victories.
Milan goalkeeper Donnarumma is confident his team can be more than a match for Antonio Conte’s Inter, who finished second behind champion Juventus last season, as they prepare for battle on Saturday.
“The gap with Inter has narrowed. They have gotten stronger, but our club has also done well in the transfer market, ”the Italian international told Sky Sport Italia.
“The coach has done a great job every day, he is helping us a lot. We can not wait.
“They are a great team with a great coach, they have everything to do very well this year, they are strong and organized.
“We are a young team but we are aware of our potential and we can do well. We are not afraid. We are only focused on what we can do well.
“I am optimistic and I am convinced that we will play a great game.”
The return of Ibrahimovic – who has represented both teams in this meeting during his career – is a boost for Milan, with the Swede available again after overcoming the coronavirus.
For Donnarumma, the forward talisman is essential to help the development of Pioli’s young team, especially since he knows what it takes to succeed in the Derby della Madonnina.
“We all wanted him to be part of the party and that is the case. With Ibra on the pitch, Inter is less scary, ”said the 21-year-old goalkeeper, who started for his country in the last Nations League games with Poland and Italy.
“He is excited for the derby and will help us. Doing well in the derby would give us a lot of strength in terms of the championship, we are still at the beginning but it can give us strength.
“We are a young group that can grow a lot, but we are also now showing that we can do good things.”