Ibrahimovic chooses Jimenez as Theo’s backup: “He will grow”

By Euan Burns -

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said that Spanish youngster Alex Jimenez is going to be the backup to Theo Hernandez next season, suggesting that Milan will not sign another left-back. 

Speaking at the press conference for the Milan Futuro launch (via Milan News), the new U23 side that will compete in Serie C next season, Ibrahimovic spoke very highly of Jimenez.

Jimenez joined Milan last summer on loan from Real Madrid with the option to make the deal permanent for €5m. With the player keen to stay, Milan have since exercised that option and the 2005-born defender is a Milan player.

The only concern for Milan is that Real Madrid have got two options to buy the player back. One comes into effect in June 2025 and could see him leave for €9m, and the other is for €12m in June 2026.

As shown by Ibrahimovic’s comments, Jimenez is in line to get first team minutes next season whilst also helping out the Futuro team when needed, in something of a hybrid role.

“Theo’s deputy will be Jimenez. If he doesn’t play in the first team he will play for Milan Futuro, that’s the advantage. A year ago he wouldn’t have had minutes on the pitch, now he can play and get minutes and this is very important,” Ibrahimovic began.

“Taking Theo’s place doesn’t seem easy, but at the same time we have to give you room to grow. Without Milan Futuro in training you don’t grow. To play you have to be stronger than Theo, it’s very difficult. With Futuro you can give him minutes. Then it’s not Serie A, but he will grow. So yes, he will be Theo’s deputy.”

With Alessandro Florenzi still at the club and able to provide cover on the left, Milan feel that there are enough left-back options without signing someone new.

Tags AC Milan Alex Jimenez Zlatan Ibrahimovic


  1. Yeah he will grow and once he’ll become a quality player, Real will claim him for peanuts as they have a nice shiny buyout option in the deal. What a ridiculous move by Milan…

    I really had good opinions on the management after last year they did good mercato in my opinion (increased quality of team on few positions without spending tons of money on one player), but this one so far is terrible, starting with appointment of Fonseca. Inter, Napoli, Juventus even Atalanta making moves and already and Milan stalling just to end up with some leftovers like overpriced Tammy Abraham or another Chukwu not wanted in Chelsea Reserves.

  2. Does it mean that Théo is staying? It’s impossible that they didn’t take note of his comments saying that he could leave this summer so I really hope that they’re ready to give him that pay rise.

  3. I just dont get it why he wont be used on the right side which is a natural for a right footed defender and we wont need to buy Royals and Santoses or w/e.. and buy like Dorgu from Lecce for a backup to Theo with a lot of potential to grow alongside him..

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