Reijnders discusses joining Milan, his preferred position and Pioli’s midfield plan

By Isak Möller -

Tijjani Reijnders was officially announced by AC Milan yesterday afternoon and the midfielder spoke to the media at his presentation presser today. Among other things, he spoke about his preferred position. 

The negotiations between Milan and AZ Alkmaar took a while and were frustrating at times, but the parties eventually reached an agreement at €20m plus bonuses. An important addition for Milan, given the sale of Sandro Tonali and Ismael Bennacer’s injury.

Speaking to the media at his press conference this afternoon, as streamed on Milan’s Youtube, Reijnders shared his thoughts on the move to Milan. He also revealed his favourite position and what he can bring to the side.

On the fans and his first days at Milanello…

“It’s of course beautiful that the fans have welcomed me like this, it makes me proud. The first days have been very good, I have had some good talks with Pioli and my new teammates. I immediately feel at home.”

On famous Dutch midfielders at Milan…

“I saw clips of these players when I was younger, I still watch them sometimes, they are great. What they did for this club is unbelievable, legendary. I don’t want to compare myself with them, but I hope I will also do good things here at Milan.

On his type and role…

“I’m a box-to-box player who likes to attack, but I can also can cover in the defensive phase when needed. My qualities are more on the attacking side, creating chances.”

On rejecting Barcelona…

“In the beginning, I had some good talks with Moncada and Pioli, the style of play and what they expected from me. That made the choice easier for me, and this is a wonderful club to play for.”

Expectations on Serie A… 

“Dutch football is much freer in terms of positions, here in Serie A I can focus more on the tactical side and make myself a more complete player as well.”

On Pioli’s midfield plan…

“He wants to play with two attacking-minded midfielders, who are capable of creating chances, and if one midfielder goes some midfielders have to stay behind. There we have to find the balance and we will do it in the training.”

On Koopmeiners…

“I don’t think we are that similar, he’s slightly different and more like a powerhouse. I’m more creative and will also create chances and dribble.”

On last season and the success…

“The season before I came on as a sub many times and this past season I got a lot of confidence from starting. My teammates also gave me the ball a lot and that was the turning point for him, gaining confidence.”

If he has spoken to any teammates about Milan…

“I talked to Koopmeiners of course, he told me about the culture here in Italy and also that Serie A is a great league to develop.”

On his main characteristic…

“My most important feat is to create chances, whether it’s with passing or dribbling. I have to do it here at Milan just like I did at Alkmaar. Seedorf was a great player that I like a lot, but it’s difficult to compare players.”

If he looks forward to anyone special at Milan…

“You see players like Rafael Leao and Theo Hernandez and those are players I cannot wait to play with on the pitch.”

On joining Milan…

“I think this is the next step to develop even more, of course I had a very good season with Alkmaar. But I see this as the right step in my development and also to win trophies.”

On set-pieces…

“It’s something I practice in training, I try to do it my own way and help the team.”

Pellegatti asks: Would you like to be the Golden Delicious Reijnders (a type of apple) of Milan’s midfield?

“I also hope that I will be the Golden Delicious Reijnders for Milan’s midfield. I want to be confident on and off the pitch for this team.”

Reijnders will travel with the Milan squad to Los Angeles tomorrow for the pre-season tour in the United States. We will certainly get to see him in action then, with the Rossoneri taking on Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona.

Tags AC Milan Reijnders


  1. If I understand correctly, he’s talking about a 4-2-3-1 but with the 2 DMs taking turns in advancing forward.
    We’ve seen this sometimes last season with Tonali acting more like a box to box midfielder and Krunic staying deeper, while Diaz was dropping on the right side.
    Basically it’s a 4-2-3-1 that sometimes turns into 4-3-3 (with one DM saying deeper and two more advanced midfielders on each side).
    So there’s a good chance that Reijnders and RLC will be the two DMs, which doesn’t bring many assurances in terms of defence and balance.

  2. The word “create” was mentioned 5 times in this interview. I really hope we FINALLY(!!!) got a midfielder who is actually capable of creating and passing the ball forward. There has been a huuuge void in our midfield since Pirlo left.

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