Former AC Milan goalkeeper and goalkeeping coach Nelson Dida revealed himself to be a huge admirer of Mike Maignan, and urged fans to have patience with Charles De Ketelaere.
Dida spoke during an interview with Tuttosport and he was asked about a number of topics, starting with perhaps the most obvious one which is how decisive Milan’s current goalkeeper is in Mike Maignan.
“We knew we had a goalkeeper with great potential in our hands but this last year at Milan has grown even more. He is doing very well with the Rossoneri shirt on,” he said (via PianetaMilan).
“In the derby he once again proved his worth. But even last year his saves contributed to AC Milan’s Scudetto win. I’m happy for him because he continues to show a great desire to win. Also in this he is not a goalkeeper like all the others.”
Dida was asked if he considers Maignan to be a potential heir to him at Milan, given that he is arguably one of the top five goalkeepers in the world and he was a big reason the Scudetto drought ended.
“Definitely yes, he has all the qualities to defend this shirt with his heart like I did and win. Last year he already won his first championship but I’m sure he can grow further and win a lot just like what happened to me.”
On becoming the possible number one in the French national team, Dida added: “A goalkeeper like him can do everything. But the National team inevitably passes from the performance with the club team.”
Finally on Maignan, Dida gave some advice to him regarding where he can improve.
“The first year, at the beginning he had a bit of difficulty in understanding Italian football. It took him a while to adjust. Now, however, with an extra year of experience, knowing the opponents, knowing the players, I believe he can have even more confidence in his means.”
Nelson Dida will have seen Stefano Pioli’s coaching mechanisms up close having been the goalkeeper coach last season, and he spoke about the role that Charles De Ketelaere could have given the comparisons with his compatriot Kaka.
“It is too early to say, he has just arrived in Italy and must have time to get used to Italian football. A football different from all the others. It takes a period of acclimatisation to demonstrate its qualities. We must not be in a hurry.
“Does he remind me of Kaka? A little yes, but it’s not easy to make comparisons with Ricky because he has shown his great qualities right from the start.”
On what this Milan lacks in order to compete in Europe: “A little personality but the team will gain even more confidence going forward. The Champions is completely different from the Italian league. You need to have a different mental approach.”