First-year Rossoneri goalkeeper Mike Maignan is excelling with AC Milan. He entered his career under high pressure due to his predecessor but has responded brilliantly. Maignan continues to prove to be one of Milan’s most important players and should they win the Scudetto, he will have played a major role.
Mike Maignan is Excelling at AC Milan
Maignan’s predecessor, of course, is Gianluigi Donnarumma. The young Italian starlet left Milan in somewhat of a bitter fashion to Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
Donnarumma was Milan’s “star boy.” He came up from the Primavera team and earned his first start as a 16-year-old. Although Milan struggled in many of Donnarumma’s years, he was the bright spot on the team. He almost left in the summer of 2017 but decided to remain with the club. Afterwards, in the eyes of Milan fans, Donnarumma looked like the future captain and the golden ticket back to success.
The Italian, however, decided to leave in 2021, after earning more than 200 appearances with Milan. This was a major blow to both the club and fans, as Milan had finally earned their way back into the Champions League. Elite goalkeepers are hard to come by, and Donnarumma is just 23-years-old. Director Paolo Maldini envisioned this possibility, however, and had a deal complete for Maignan with Lille.
Lille had played Milan in the Europa League that year, giving Milan fans a glimpse of their future goalkeeper, but it wasn’t enough to distract from the fact that Donnarumma was leaving.
Maignan is excelling in Milan, whereas Donnarumma isn’t always the first choice in Paris with Keylor Navas around.
Maignan’s Record With Milan
Maignan has played in three competitions for Milan this season – Serie A, the Champions League, and the Coppa Italia. He was sidelined for close to three months this season with injury but came back to his regular self.
In 29 Serie A appearances, Maignan has registered an astounding 15 clean sheets. He’s also only conceded 20 goals. To put this in perspective, Donnarumma conceded 37 goals and kept 14 clean sheets in 37 Serie A appearances last season. In 16 Ligue 1 matches this season, Donnarumma has conceded 17 goals and kept only four clean sheets. With these stats in mind, Maignan is thoroughly excelling in Milan.
Maigan has two clean sheets in four Coppa Italia matches but did not keep one in three Champions League matches.
Yes, a quick glance at Maignan’s statistical records shows that he’s been playing well. Besides that, however, it’s the eye test that’s important. Maignan constantly makes outstanding saves, many of which help Milan win matches. One example is his most recent save on Arturo Cabral in Milan’s recent 1-0 victory over Fiorentina.
Donnarumma had a knack for the same thing, making clutch saves to earn or save points for Milan. This was something Milan fans were worried about when the Italian left, but Maignan continues to bring it.
Maignan is also just 26-years-old. As a goalkeeper, he may very well have another decade of his best play left in him. Milan looks to have its goalkeeper position set for the foreseeable future.