AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso has admitted to appreciating the talent of Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi, questioning Paris Saint-Germain's decision to part with the 30-year-old last summer.
The French international was one of the Parisians' longest serving players prior to his £18.2m departure, having joined the club from St-Etienne in 2011, but was a victim of the club's squad overhaul as he joined the Turin side on a three-year deal.
With Milan and Juventus set to come to blows on Saturday in Serie A, Gattuso sung Matuidi's praises by admitting the midfielder has become a key player for the Old Lady this season.
"Since being a coach, I have been intrigued by the players in the offensive and defensive phases, Matuidi has always pleased me," Gattuso said, via L'Equipe.
"He is a complete player, defends, throws himself [into contests] and scores four to five goals per season, different from player that I was.
"I have often wondered why the PSG decided to do without the services of a player like him, very athletically and tactically [gifted]. He was a good rookie for Juve," he added.
Matuidi has made 35 appearances for the Italian outfit in his debut season for the club, helping Massimiliano Allegri's side to the top of the league table and into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
With Juventus aiming to maintain their two-point lead at the top of Serie A when the two meet, Gattuso knows Milan need to play a 'perfect' game to cause an upset in Turin.
He said, via Goal: "Juventus are a great team, unbeatable for the last six years. I am confident we will play a great game tomorrow and that Juve will have a hard time against us.
"We have to be humble and respect our opponents who are stronger than us. We must play as a team. There's a lot at stake and we are not allowed any false steps. We need the perfect game."