Meite discusses phone call with Maldini, his three inspirations and first impressions of Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

New signing Soualiho Meite has declared that AC Milan are the strongest team that he has played for, revealing his good first impressions about the group.

On Friday night, Milan announced the signing of Meite on an initial loan deal, which includes a buy-out option. The Frenchman, who joins from Torino, is an important reinforcement for the midfield.

Milan have recently been forced to play with Davide Calabria in midfield due to several absences. The right-back has done a good job, but the situation has also highlighted the Rossoneri’s lack of depth, so Meite therefore is a welcome addition to the team.

He made his debut during Monday night’s win over Cagliari, coming on as a substitute and showing some positive signs despite his limited runout.

Meité spoke to the media at Milanello during his official unveiling, with the questions and his responses transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.

Do you feel like a defensive midfielder?

“A midfielder must know both defending and attacking. I like playing like that, I like playing lots of balls.”

What are your thoughts on the group?

“I immediately felt the compactness of the group, we talk a lot and I liked it a lot. In Cagliari it was nice to enter the field.”

Is this the best moment of your career?

“Milan are the strongest team I’ve played for. There are many champions, Ibra does amazing things at nearly 40. I’m young and I have to do more and more.”

Is this a great chance for you?

“Yes of course. Milan are a great team, if I do well I can change my career. These months will be very important.”

What went wrong in the last few weeks at Torino?

“At Torino things were not going well, we won very little. From a mental point of view it was not easy.”

Who are you inspired by?

“I like a lot of midfielders that I like. I watch the strongest like Pirlo, Modric and Yaya Touré. I watch the videos to try to learn as much as possible.”

What are your first thoughts on Pioli?

“I really like his way of playing. He wants us to always play forward, it’s important for a midfielder like me.”

Why did you choose number 18?

“When I started in the first team it was my first number, so I chose it again because it was good for me.”

You already knew Kessie well…

“It is important to know someone like Franck who will help me fit in better.”

What are the differences between Pioli and Giampaolo?

“They have different ideas. I can’t say if one is better than the other, they have different ways of seeing things. I really like Pioli’s way of playing.

“In football there is competition. I only have to think about working well and strong. I have to be always ready and try to win the starting position.”

What did you feel when you heard about Milan’s interest?

“I was very happy. Other clubs were looking for me, but when I heard about Milan’s interest I wanted to come here immediately.”

When did you realise you could really join Milan?

“It was before the league match. My agent called me and told me we had to talk to Maldini. From that moment on I understood that I could reach Milan.

How do you feel in 4-2-3-1?

“I know my characteristics well. In this team everyone moves a lot and I like it a lot. I don’t know my teammates well, but from the first training session I immediately felt comfortable. Football is like a language, if you understand it. Everything is alright”.

Who is the team-mate who has impressed you the most so far?

“Everyone plays well in my opinion.”

The last Rossoneri with hair like yours was Guliit…

“I’ve never seen him play, but he was a great player.”

Would you like to be the new Desailly?

“I know him well being French like me. He has done great things, I have yet to write my story. Desailly is Desailly, Meité is Meitè.”

What help can you give to the team?

“I came here to help the team stay first in the standings. I want to do more and more, I have to work hard and help my team-mates.”

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Tags AC Milan Soualiho Meite
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