Just after the 2020/21 season came to an end, AC Milan announced the signing of Mike Maignan from Lille for a fee of €13m. It was, of course, to replace Gigio Donnarumma and it has turned out to be a great signing.
Donnarumma decided not to renew his contract with the club and the Rossoneri were well prepared for that scenario. They acted quickly and brought in Maignan from Lille for just €13m, as the goalkeeper only had one year left on his contract.
In his long interview with Il Giornale, as transcribed by Football Italia and MilanNews, Stefano Pioli was asked about his impressions of Maignan. The Frenchman has been fantastic thus far and the manager revealed the background to the transfer.
“When we play against a European rival [their games vs. Lille in EL], we usually see 4-5 matches with the staff to see who we’ll meet,” Pioli told Il Giornale as quoted by Calciomercato.com.
“And in those games, Mike impressed me. I saw the way he was talking to his teammates when they played at San Siro. We followed him and our scouts and confirmed the good impression we had.
“Now Mike has given 105%. He’s always concentrated, curious to the point of distrust, he lives with intensity, not only during the game but also the week. He’s a maniac of preparation,” he stated.
As said, Maignan has been fantastic at the start of this season and the €13m paid is turning out to be a bargain. His distribution has surprised many and has become a key part of Milan’s style of play.