Deco believes Andre Silva has plenty to offer at AC Milan, but opted against any lofty expectations for the striker’s first season in Italy, tipping him to score “at least 10 goals”.
The Portugal international completed his move to San Siro from Porto on Monday for an initial €38million deal that could eventually reach a value of €40m.
Former Barcelona and Chelsea star Deco played at Salgueiros when Silva was part of the youth system at the Portuguese club and was always a fan, likening the 21-year-old to himself and ex-Milan striker Fernando Torres.
Silva, who has been tipped by Cristiano Ronaldo as his eventual Portugal heir, has targeted the Serie A title in his first season after netting 21 for Porto in all competitions last term.
While Deco thinks the centre-forward’s all-round game will help Milan, he was cautious about his goalscoring expectations for year one in Serie A.
“He is young and has a future – he has scored for Porto and the Portuguese national team,” Deco said to Gazzetta dello Sport.
“He is an important player for Portugal. Andre was a lone or second striker for Porto, playing with an ease of movement and quality, even outside the box. He can show that he is a complete striker at Milan.
“That [Silva’s lack of technique] is exaggerated and I disagree. Andre works a lot and can improve, like he has done in recent years.
“He will be helpful to Milan. I would say [he will score] 10, at least. For his first year, that wouldn’t be bad.
“It is also clear that in Italy, it is always difficult to answer this question.
“The other thing is Andre also creates chances for others. He doesn’t just score goals.”
— AC Milan (@acmilan) June 13, 2017
Deco added: “He reminds me of Fernando Torres. He has that ability to be a striker in the box but, at the same time, move around the pitch.
“Andre played as a midfielder at Salgueiros, a bit like a number 10, like I did. They started calling him ‘Deco’ and the nickname worked. We have joked about it whenever we have seen each other.”
Silva has already racked up seven goals in eight caps for Portugal in an impressive start to his international career and is part of his country’s squad for the Confederations Cup.
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