Malick Thiaw has been the big surprise of 2023 thus far, cementing his spot in the three-man backline with some great performances for AC Milan. And the numbers back this up, especially in one aspect.
The German international arrived at Milan ahead of the summer, joining from Schalke 04 in a deal worth around €7m. Up until this month, however, he didn’t get much playing time and never got the chance to shine.
Since his appearance off the bench in the derby, though, he has played from start and he was the MOTM against Tottenham. And this isn’t just based on the visuals, but also the stats that he has amassed over the last three games.
As per Serie A (read our preview of Milan-Atalanta for more stats), Thiaw is the defender that has the joint-most combined aerial duels won (11) and headed clearances (10) in Serie A in February (21). Kim Min-Jae of Napoli is the other player.
In short, he’s a player that Milan need for set-pieces and on crosses.