AC Milan did not manage to win any of their preseason friendlies in the United States but midfielder Tijjani Reijnders was among the brighter notes.
La Gazzetta dello Sport write how Reijnders was asked what his goal for the season was, and he looked the interviewer straight in the eye before answering: “We want to win the Scudetto.”
There were some question marks about his best role upon arriving at the club from AZ Alkmaar, and he answered that too: “The thing I do best is being a box to box player, effective defensively and in the other half of the pitch.”
He is an all-rounder in the midfield. Last year Reijnders played 54 out of 54 matches, leading AZ to the semi-finals of the Conference League thanks to his goals and his creativity.
Compared to Sandro Tonali or Brahim Diaz he’s a different player, more functional in a 4-3-3 with his late runs into the box, his work rate and his quality. The 25-year-old finished last season with 12 assists, 7 goals chances and a pretty good average of interceptions (at least two per game).
He created more chances than Brahim (15-13) and shot on goal at least 3 times per game (against Diaz’s 1.2). Not counting 91% of successful passes in 4800′ played.
The comparison with Tonali is curious: Reijnders shoots and dribbles much more (2.1 shots per game against 0.9). Against Juve in Carson he touched the ball 47 times and only Tomori had more.
Reijnders always wants the ball and he’s not afraid, while he has already understood how Milan play and the next step is to start contributing.