Amid an excellent win for Milan and the chaotic scramble off the pitch after the news concerning Stefano Pioli’s future, it was easy to forget it was an important night for Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Naturally, securing three points away at Sassuolo to continue our impressive form and then confirmation that Pioli had signed a new deal to extend his stay with us until 2022 dominated the headlines.
READ MORE: Four key points on why Milan decision on Stefano Pioli makes sense
However, it was a memorable night for Donnarumma on a personal level as he made his 200th appearance for Milan, and it ended with the captain’s armband in his possession.
Landmark signals his consistency and class
Still only just 21 years of age, Donnarumma has broken the record to become the youngest Milan player to reach 200 appearances for the club.
From the moment he broke into the side to his performance against Sassuolo this week, the maturity and consistency that he has shown has been exceptional.
That’s not to say that he hasn’t slipped up along the way as he has made a number of high-profile errors which proved costly too, but ultimately he continues to learn, develop and gain experience and still has his entire career ahead of him.
His contract debacle in 2017 was a sour chapter in an otherwise wonderful story that has been written at Milan thus far, as he has developed into a key figure and the face of the brand moving forward with his name undoubtedly known and appreciated around the footballing world.
The hope now is that Milan can continue to move in the right direction, which is one that leads to us being competitive and fighting for trophies at the highest level in order to match his ambition and desire to be the best which gives us every chance of keeping hold of such a top talent for the foreseeable future.
With his current deal set to expire in 2021 though, it’s imperative that we reach a new agreement with the Italian international this summer to avoid losing him any time soon.
Further, it was also heart-warming to see him finish the game wearing the armband, with Donnarumma seemingly next in line after Alessio Romagnoli’s injury.
He could be heard marshalling his defence with great authority in the second half and encouraging fellow youngster Matteo Gabbia who came on to replace our captain, and those seemingly minor acts of leadership will hopefully ensure that he develops into a future full-time captain if that time comes.
It’s been a brilliant journey thus far, but it’s hoped that this landmark is just the first of many for Donnarumma in a Milan shirt and that we continue to take major strides forward together for many more years to come.
The keeper of the Rossoneri realm makes his 200th appearance 🔴⚫
Gigio Donnarumma 🔝
21 anni, 2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ presenze, tutte in rossonero: un altro grande traguardo, grande @gigiodonna1! 🔝🔴⚫️#SassuoloMilan #SempreMilan pic.twitter.com/Hlh6NSMFjb
— AC Milan (@acmilan) July 21, 2020