Mike Maignan was born on 3 July 1995 in Cayenne (French Guyana) but grew up in Villiers-le-Bel, a small area just a few kilometres from Paris. AC Milan’s new goalkeeper arrives from LOSC Lille, who recently won Ligue 1 in France, as well as having faced the Rossoneri in the Europa League group stages this season.
His footballing journey began at Paris Saint-Germain, where he rose through each sector of the youth ranks before being included in the first-team squad under Laurent Blanc. He was back-up keeper to Salvatore Sirigu but, having not made an appearance, he chose to join Lille in Summer 2015. He spent 6 years in the north of France, culminating in that recent league triumph this season. It was a definitive season for Mike’s growth as a keeper, even if there were never any real doubts over his ability: only 38 goals conceded in 48 appearances in all competitions (23 conceded in Ligue 1, 0.6 goals conceded per game). He recorded 21 clean sheets in the league, the most in Europe’s Top 5 leagues, ahead of the likes of Ederson, Oblak, Courtois and Navas. Amongst goalies with at least three appearances in Ligue 1 this year, Maignan also had the second highest save percentage: 79%, after only Keylor Navas (80%).
After 180 appearances across 6 seasons, Mike leaves Lille and will begin a new adventure in Milan. He is a goalkeeper with a lot about him, and his solidity between the sticks and cat-like reflexes attracted the attention of a lot of clubs. He is also acclaimed for his penalty-saving; the stats back that up: he has faced 34 in his career, saving 10 of them. In Ligue 1, he has kept out 31% of the penalties he has faced - 8 out of 26. Maignan is already well-acquainted with some members of the squad, having shared the locker-room with Zlatan Ibrahimović, at PSG, and with Rafael Leão, at Lille. His cross-over with Simon Kjær, who left Lille when Mike arrived there, was a brief one.
Maignan will be part of Didier Deschamps’ France squad for the Euros this Summer, where he will vie with France and Tottenham Captain Hugo Lloris for a starting-place. He made his debut for Les Bleus on 7 October 2020, in a 7-1 victory over Ukraine at Stade de France, replacing Mandanda at half-time. However, his experience with the National Team goes back to 2010, with the U16s. Mike represented his country at every youth level, picked for the U21s in 2015 having played for the U17, U18, U19 and U20s already. From June 2019, he has been consistently called-up by Deschamps - with, as mentioned, his debut already made.
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