The agent of Malick Thiaw has revealed just how the defender was convinced to join AC Milan and insisted his lack of playing time was never a worry.
Stefano Pioli remarked after winning the Panchina d’Oro a few weeks ago in Coverciano that he hoped Malick Thiaw could have ‘the same path taken by Tomori and Kalulu’. The German U21 captain arrived for €6m from Schalke 04, but very little was seen from him in the first few months.
He worked hard on the training ground to make sure he would be ready for his chance and sure enough it came as the team were looking to pull themselves out of a crisis that saw them go seven games without a win.
Since then he has never looked back as Milan having gone four games without conceding, and TMW talked spoke with his agent – Gordon Stipic – about how Thiaw is getting on.
Many fans are wondering how it is possible that someone like Thiaw wasn’t playing until recently…
“He joined the starters at a difficult time, but everything was planned. He arrived prepared and left excellent impressions with his qualities and performances.
“It’s true, many are now asking ‘could he have played earlier?’ but the plan was very clear from the beginning. Everything was agreed with the coach and with the club’s management who explained to us right from the start what the boy’s path would be.”
Why did Thiaw choose Milan?
“Malick had many possibilities, especially in the Premier League. Many managers also offered and guaranteed him a place to play right from the start. However, as you can see, he was impressed by the talks with Maldini and Massara.
“This shows his character, his his attitude: he chose the hardest path. He could have chosen the easy one, even a ready place in a starting eleven but the way the project was presented to us left no room for doubt. Discipline and mental strength are his force.”
Now he is playing and it seems an easier response, but was he always convinced by his choice?
“We were 110% convinced even when he wasn’t playing. The feedback received from Milan, day after day, was positive: it’s the right path for him.”
Only positive reports about Malick come from Milan…
“He’s a calm boy, everyone likes him. He’s a hard worker, he knows how to stay in the group, he behaves well, he has an extraordinary family that always follows him with affection, in the right way.
“And then he knows where he comes from and knows that the path it’s still long. The focus is clear: no flights of fancy, no absurd dreams. One thing is certain: play in Serie A, at Milan, in a great club.”