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Malick Thiaw: Acclimatization with an eye on Schalke 04

After a certain start-up period, Malick Thiaw is getting more and more into step in Milan. The U-21 international always keeps an eye on FC Schalke 04.

Was in Milan’s starting eleven before the World Cup break: Malick Thiaw.

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What applies to Malick Thiaw himself also applies to FC Schalke 04, his “heart club”, as he says. In the last few meters of the year, he “saw a significant increase in the royal blues,” explains Thiaw, who is still in lively contact with the royal blues.

At the end of August he left Gelsenkirchen for Milan to prove himself at the highest level with the Rossoneri. A step that took some getting used to. “It took a while,” said Thiaw at a media roundtable ahead of Germany U21s’ friendly against Italy on Friday. The defender has long been one of the leading players in the DFB junior squad, but he initially had to take a backseat to Milan.

He’s grown up and matured compared to last season.

A new country, a different culture, the language barrier: Thiaw had to overcome quite a few hurdles, but has now arrived. Before the World Cup break, the 21-year-old started his first two games and has now also received praise from Antonio Di Salvo.

The step to Milan was “very courageous”, said the coach of the German U21s this Friday. The change already has added value, according to Di Salvo: “Compared to last season, he has grown up and matured.”

Thiaw on Schalke’s situation: “The season is still long”

So Thiaw is progressing and making his way. However, he does not lose sight of how things are with Schalke 04 – the club for which he played for seven years before leaving for Italy. He tries to watch every game, said Thiaw on Friday. And even if Schalke are at the bottom of the Bundesliga table with just nine points from their first 15 games: “The season is still long,” emphasizes Thiaw.

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