SM Exclusive: AZ Alkmaar insider lifts lid on Reijnders – “A player everyone wants on their team”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan are getting a ‘real technical box-to-box player’ in Tijjani Reijnders, who chose the Rossoneri in order to continue his growth.

Earlier in the week Milan announced that Reijnders has joined Milan from AZ Alkmaar on a permanent basis, with the Dutch midfielder having signed a contract until 30 June 2028.

Reijnders will wear the number 14 shirt and he joins Marco Sportiello, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Luka Romero and Christian Pulisic as the fifth summer addition, while in his first interview with Milan TV he shed some light on his excitement and his preferred role.

We have done an analysis piece on the 24-year-old, but we also spoke to Anthony Wijman who runs the account AZ Alerts on Twitter covering everything related to Alkmaar, and asked him some questions about the new addition.

What is your reaction to Reijnders leaving for €20m plus bonuses?

“The amount of €20m plus bonuses is a fine sum. Of course you hope that since he extended until 2027 last January to enjoy at least one more year of him. Would have preferred the top price of €25m. I think the final offer satisfies every AZ fan, provided it is reinvested.”

The player confirmed Barcelona were interested, why do you think he chose Milan?

“Barcelona and AC Milan are both unique clubs with a great history and a beautiful shirt. The chance of playing minutes and the story of AC Milan fits the career planning of Tijjani Reijnders better.

“Also, former AZ player Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta) told him his experience of playing in Serie A. This immediately appealed to Tijjani very much. All in all, I think one of the best transfers you can make from AZ.”

What are Reijnders’ best qualities and skills?

“Tijjani Reijnders’ best qualities include his dribble, vision, body feint, distance shot, moving the game quickly, short combinations with fellow players and his mentality. He is a bruising hard worker. A player everyone wants on their team.”

What is his best position on the field? He said it is box-to-box midfielder

“Reijnders’ best position is as number 8. He used to play as number 10 and he can do that too but at number 8 he covers more metres. He is a real technical box-to-box player.”

Do you think he will find it easy to settle in to Serie A or is patience needed?

“Every player from the Netherlands/Eredivisie has to adapt to playing abroad. Playing in the Netherlands is purely focused on ball possession and attacking.

“He will have to get used to the constant intensity in Serie A. However, I have every confidence that he can do this. Give him confidence and massive support and his smile will be even bigger than it already is.”

Tags AC Milan Tijjani Reijnders


  1. Until now we have recruited only attacking midfielders, no real defensive midfielders especially for 433 system, we need 1big defensive midfielder. Remember the 2 or 3 opening goals from derby matches, they scored goals easily through the midfield.
    Major thing to improve if we have to win against big teams

    1. DMs aren’t mandatory. It’s all about the chemistry/synergy in the team. Teamwork. If everybody does their part there is no need for a defensive-biased player in the midfield. Let’s see how the newcomers blend in.

      1. Like someone said on another page… Inter has played Calhanoglu as a DM. Is he a DM? H*ll no! Did Inter make it work? Yes. Why? Because of the players he plays with. Teamwork.

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