Malick Thiaw

Position: Centre-back 

Age: 21 (born August 8, 2001) 

Shirt number: 28 

Country: Germany (capped at the U21 level) 

At AC Milan since: 2022 

The German youngster will be part of Pioli’s process, as he will getting a huge upside on his position despite being loaded by the likes of Tomori, Kalulu, Calabria and Kjaer at the centre-back pecking order. 

Dusseldorf native Malick Thiaw had bounced around academies in his youth career including his home club Fortuna, before settling in up north with Schalke where he spent five years in their academy before making his first-team debut in March 2020, substituting Jonjoe Kenny in their 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim. 

A son of a Senegalese dad and a Finnish mom who were athletes in their own right, he is eligible to play for those two nations apart from his birth country, where he had won the 2021 UEFA U21 title with Germany. 

After making three more appearances in that campaign, he was more active in the following season, opening his scoring account in their 1-1 draw with Stuttgart in a season they wanted to forget, as it saw them drop to 2. Bundesliga by being bottom of the top-flight in the entirety of the campaign. 

However, Thiaw and Schalke bounced back from a horrible campaign by making it one of the most dominating performances in the following season. He started in their first 20 league matches as it clinched a quick return to the Bundesliga with a round to spare, even if he rode the bench in their 3-2 comebacker over St. Pauli and eventually won the second-division title on the final day. 

He later played four matches for the Miners in their German top-flight, when Rossoneri picked him up for a €7 million fee before the deadline, tying him to the San Siro up until 2027.  Thiaw was the first German to play for the Rossoneri in the 21st Century, and fifth overall (after Schnellinger, Ziege, Bierhoff and Lehmann). 


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