Why Ballo-Toure signed for AC Milan and role Maldini played in transfer

The 24-year-old reveals what drove him to sign for the Italian giants from Ligue 1 side Monaco ahead of new season

Senegal international Fode Ballo-Toure has revealed the reason he signed for AC Milan ahead of the new season.

The Italian giants confirmed the arrival of the defender from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco after he penned a four-year contract with the Rossoneri, where he will be wearing the number five jersey.

The 24-year-old has revealed in his first interview why he decided to sign for the Italian outfit and the role played by legend Paolo Maldini in the transfer.

On why he ended up at Milan, Ballo-Toure said as quoted by “I’m very happy to be here. In the beginning, there was a contact between Paolo [Maldini] and my agent, I didn’t believe it.

“Then the negotiations with Monaco began, but I only started to believe it when I arrived in Milan.

“I am very happy that Maldini brought me to Milan and gave me his confidence. He is an important reference.”

On his first day at the club, Ballo-Toure explained: “The first few days went well. I was welcomed well, I already knew Leao, but everyone welcomed me well. Even the language gradually I learn more and more. Pioli told me what he expects from me and that he is always available if I have to need something.”

Toure has further admitted he will need to score goals next season, to better his display from last season.

“It’s one of the things I have to improve. I have to do better and score more as Theo Hernandez does,” Ballo-Toure continued.

“Everyone has his own style. Like him, I am very fast too. I have to improve various aspects, such as from the production point of view, but each has its own qualities and style.”

On joining a team with Fikayo Tomori, whom he faced in the Youth League final a few years ago, Ballo-Toure said: “It’s a great pleasure to see him again. We haven’t talked about that final yet, but we will certainly talk about it. It’s a real pleasure to find him.”

On his jersey number choice, Ballo-Toure said: “The 5 and 3 are the numbers that are usually worn by left-backs. The 3 was not available so I chose the 5.”

Despite playing for the French youth team, Ballo-Toure decided to feature for Senegal at international level, and speaking on the upcoming African Cup of Nations finals to be held in Cameroon, he said: “I will be happy to represent my national team in the African Cup. If we have to talk to the club about it, we will do it without problems.”

On Milan having several French players in the squad, he said: “I am happy that they are there, they can certainly help me also in the translation from Italian if I do not understand something. They will certainly make me feel at ease.”

Apart from Ballo-Toure, Milan have also signed Mike Maignan, Tomori, Sandro Tonali, and Olivier Giroud.

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