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Cutrone pays tribute to Montella

AC Milan striker Patrick Cutrone said he owes a debt of gratitude to departed coach Vincenzo Montella but described his replacement Gennaro Gattuso as "a legend".

Cutrone emerged as a regular first-team player under Montella, scoring twice in nine Serie A appearances, but a run of just two wins from their last eight league games led the club's board to bring an end to the former striker's time in charge.

Former Milan and Italy midfielder Gatusso was appointed head coach on Monday, moving from his previous role as a youth team coach, and Cutrone told reporters at a PES event of his admiration for the 39-year-old. 

"Gattuso is a legend, is a big honour to have him as coach," said Cutrone.

"Since I was a child I have appreciated him for his grit, the way he helped his team-mates."

On his progress under his former boss, Cutrone added: "I honestly did not expect to play so much. I will always be grateful to Montella.

"The experience in these games helped me a lot."

Gattuso will take charge of the team for the first time at bottom club Benevento on Sunday and Cutrone, who replaced Nikola Kalinic as a second-half substitute in the 0-0 draw with Torino before Montella's dismissal, expressed his desire to get back to winning ways.

"I don't like to lose," he said. "I want to win even during the training matches."