focus31 August 2021


Rediscovering the French midfielder: traits, career and trivia

A welcome return. Tiémoué Bakayoko is back at AC Milan after saying goodbye to the Club in 2019. He was previously only with the Rossoneri for a single season, but a strong bond was created that, although interrupted, very much remained intact. Now, after this summer's transfer window, the 27-year-old Frenchman with Ivorian roots is ready to wear the AC Milan shirt once more. He’s an important signing and someone who was carefully selected by the Club’s directors: Bakayoko brings experience, character and substance. He combines strength with technique to bolster the midfield and complete a crucial area of the pitch.

He knows AC Milan, and he also knows all about Serie A, a league he played in last season for Napoli. His characteristics are undoubtedly a good fit for Pioli’s midfield, meaning he’ll easily be able to perform the tasks required of him. He provides an extra solution – an additional asset – in terms of helping to manage and manoeuvre the whole team. Standing at 189 cm tall and weighing in at 77 kg, he combines both power and control; maybe even grabbing a few goals, a rare but precious commodity in his career.

His career started in France with Rennes, where he played in the youth academy until his professional debut in 2013. Soon his first Ligue 1 goal arrived, and shortly after the watchful eyes of Monaco found him, and he was signed by them in 2014. Here he had his longest spell with a single club (2014-17 and 2019-20), winning one league title and experiencing Champions League football, which he’s also done since 2017 with Chelsea.

He didn't leave his mark with the Blues, but he did win a European Super Cup and an FA Cup, and then began a series of loan spells: from AC Milan to AC Milan, passing (again) through Monaco and Napoli (where he met Gattuso again). He needed bit of time adapting to the Rossoneri, after which he made a difference – and at times dominated – in the midfield. In total he boasts 272 appearances and 13 goals. He was called up to the U16 National Team, then moved up through the age categories, before making his senior debut in 2017.

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