Pioli full of praise for ‘total midfielder’ Reijnders but adds: “I expect goals”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has heaped praise on Tijjani Reijnders, calling him a ‘total midfielder’ because he excels in so many areas.

Reijnders was bought in the summer transfer window from AZ Alkmaar after negotiations between the clubs that took a while and were frustrating at times, but the parties eventually reached an agreement at €20m plus bonuses.

The Dutchman has already proven to be an important addition for Milan, given the sale of Sandro Tonali and Ismael Bennacer’s injury. He has been a dynamic figure on the left of the midfield three, often dictating the pace of games.

An excerpt of Mauro Suma’s podcast on the official AC Milan App featured Pioli talking about Reijnders, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

“He’s an exceptional boy, a total midfielder who’s good at driving the ball with his head held high and capable of inserting himself into the spaces that the opposing defenses allow,” he said.

“I expect goals and a few more shots from him, he knows how to play in multiple roles and is a player of an important level.”

Reijnders started for the Netherlands against France yesterday, showing that he is taking great strides for club and country.

Tags AC Milan Tijjani Reijnders


  1. The goals will come. When he plays it looks like he needs that goal for validation, but I feel like he’s already such an upgrade for us, that he shouldn’t get fixated on scoring. Pioli should underline the same. Play with peace of mind, goals will come.

    1. He needs to work on his shooting, which is poor so far. Or else, what’s the point of running forward, carrying the ball, dribbling past defenders or goalkeepers, if you can’t finish it, it looks good but it is a wasted opportunity.
      Had his shooting been better, he could easily gotten 2 or 3 goals this season.

        1. Reijnders needs to train his shooting 5 hours per day, LOL. He almost NEVER shoots on target, and even if it is close (hitting the post, brushing the post…) it’s still not a goal and it ends negatively an offensive action.

          As a point of comparison, 80% of Pulisic’s shots are on-target and 50% of these beat the goalie. I think Pulisic should help his companion and work with him on finishing, and Pioli should also get a member of his coaching staff to work specifically with Tijjany on his shooting, at least a couple of hours per day until it improves.

          If Tiijany shot well, he would ALREADY be a world-class player. In a sense, it is sort of good that he has this shortcoming, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have been able to afford him, and he’d be playing for ManCity or Real or PSG.

          So ideally he DEVELOPS this skill while he plays for us. This is really the ONLY thing that he doesn’t do well. Every other task/skill for a midfielder, he performs beautifully, but his finishing is atrocious.

  2. If we had proper DM who would do his job properly then Reijnders would have more freedom roaming around goal instead of being the biggest workhorse in both phases.

  3. I think it’s a mental thing. Playing for Milan. He had a good shot at AZ. He needs to get over it. Otherwise, near-perfect midfielder.

      1. The problem is not easier or harder but his shooting accuracy, its barely on target so if he still in eredivise he cant score if his shoot not on target

        1. Well in a weaker league, where defending is poor, goalkeepers are not that great and no one closes him down, he does have time and space to aim correctly. With better defenders and pressing, he has to do it quickly hence the accuracy of his shots drop. But again, same thing can be said for passing, but he definetly has no problems with passes. So shooting can be improved.

  4. He needs to take shots from outside. It’s where he’s better at shooting.
    This is what I wrote as a review of the player during the summer before we got him:

    “He does have a good outside shot but I can’t tell if it’s the piss poor defending (in the league he’s playing in), no one closing him down or the abysmal goalkeeping. But I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt there. Accuracy in long shots is hard to come by and I can’t understate how well he strikes the ball from outside. Otherwise his shooting is average
    And this is from a lower league.

    I said I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt so ppl didn’t call me a hater and pile on me lol because at the time ppl were really jolly into the transfers. Glad to see ppl coming on board now.
    Not saying I’m an expert or I told you so or anything but I’ve been pretty accurate about players. Reinjders hasn’t been great since the first two games. That Inter game took the wind out of his sails.
    I haven’t been accurate yet about our standings though. But I’ll wait for the 10th game.

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