Stefano Pioli has every squad member to thank for their contribution during the current Scudetto fight, but Mike Maignan is certainly among the most deserving.
Tuttosport (via MilanNews) recall how Maignan arrived at Milan in a very quick operation costing around €14m and he instantly captured the hearts of the Milan fans, tripling his value with an exceptional season so far.
One of the biggest concerns of Rossoneri fans, once Donnarumma left, was that the replacement might not be up to scratch, but the paper adds that Maignan’s saves and even his distribution (such as the assist for Leao against Sampdoria) earned Milan a total of 22 points.
The most recent save was one from Cabral’s sharp near post header but there are others worth remembering like the against Genoa on Hernani’s header or against Torino from Vojvoda’s shot. In the first half of the derby win over Inter in February he kept the team in it with his saves, which could end up being a turning point of the title push in hindsight.
Maignan has become one of the leaders of the changing room too and it is easy to see how the 26-year-old won Ligue 1 with Lille last season. He works with goalkeeping coaches Nelson Dida, Gigi Ragno and Emiliano Betti every day and is inquisitive about the various work done.
Dida in particular praised him often during the season and highlighted his desire to get to work and improve. The target is to win the league for a second straight season, while Maldini and Massara know they picked another gem.