February 26, 2024

Milan, Reijnders is the only real security in the middle of the pitch


The Dutchman is untouchable for the coach: 19 games on the pitch and 1559 minutes. And now he is also aiming for a central role in the Netherlands

Michele Antonelli

He always ends up playing. Mezzala, attacking midfielder, also midfielder. This season it was mainly Tijjani Reijnders who occupied Milan's midfield. The only real certainty in midfield is Stefano Pioli, who has already struggled with an injury to Loftus-Cheek and ongoing doubts in the direction department. The Dutchman is also becoming increasingly important in the national team, in which he will play a central role with a view to the next European Championship.

always on the field

The most useful adjective to introduce the discussion is “essential.” That's how it is in Milan. Reijnders has already played the 19th game of the season against Frosinone: a total of 1559 minutes of play. Among the Rossoneri, more than anyone else. The Dutchman has always been a regular starter, except for his Champions League debut with Newcastle where he was sent off in the final half hour. He always dictates the right times to the team, as Pioli explained a few weeks ago: “He is an exceptional boy, a total midfielder who can drive the ball well with his head up and is able to force his way into spaces, that the defense allows. “I expect goals and a few more shots, he knows how to play in multiple roles and is a player at an important level.”

also with goals

Here's the thing. Reijnders is a multi-role player, in the middle of the pitch he can act as a midfielder, as an attacking midfielder and also as a playmaker (as seen against Fiorentina and Frosinone), but Pioli expects him to have more scoring opportunities. Also because he has already proven several times in Holland that he knows how to do it. In the last season with Az he scored 7 goals, in the previous one he had stopped at 6. Not bad numbers. At Milan it took him a little longer to find his way to the goal, he waited and only got there once against Lecce. Last November 11th in Via del Mare, in a game that fans remember more for the hara-kiri and the comeback in the last minutes, after a great start and the double advantage. In the first games of the season, Reijnders also strengthened his statistics with two assists. The first against Giroud, in the 2-0 win against Bologna. The second for Tomori in the 3-1 win against Cagliari.

towards Euro2024

The start of the season with Milan also coincided with the first appearances in the Orange jersey. He made his debut with the Netherlands on September 7th in the Nations League, in a 3-0 win against Greece. From that moment on, the member of the 1998 class was permanently called up to Koeman's squad, and he used him five more times (including three from the start) without thinking about it: “Starter with the Netherlands? Play in Champions League, it's ready now. After qualifying for the European Championship, it's now about experiencing the first big tournament with your team as the protagonist. Also becoming a given in the national team.

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