5 Reasons Why Adil Rami Has Been AC Milan's Surprise Player This Season
After falling out with former Valencia boss Miroslav Djukic, Rami was turned into an outcast and he was free to choose a new side.
The French international has now started for Milan in the past four games and will continue to anchor the back line when the team faces Atletico Madrid in the midweek Champions League clash.
Desperately needing a true defensive leader at the back, it's no surprise that the Rossoneri pulled the trigger on a low-risk, high-reward transfer.
Milan's back line has been especially weak at aerial defending, so the 6'4" Rami would give them a much more hulking presence at the back.
Rami throws his weight around and excels at set piece defending where he often wins the header over smaller and more physically frail opponents.
Looking at Rami, it's easy to see why some would just classify him as a no-nonsense, brutish defender.
He has those qualities, but he is also technical enough to be calm and collected when being pressured by an opponent. His passing range is quite impressive for someone of his stature and position, and he doesn't seem flustered by attempting tricky maneuvers when in possession.
So far, Rami truly seems like the total package.
Rami brings nearly 300 top-flight appearances spanning three of the five major European leagues, more than a dozen Champions League appearances and 26 caps on the French national team.
It's unfortunate that he hasn't been able to recreate his national team partnership with Philippe Mexes at Milan, as the blonde-haired defender doesn't seem to be in the plans of Clarence Seedorf and has been woeful the few times he's been used this year.
Milan fans know a good defender when they see one, as some of the older generation was spoiled with arguably the greatest defensive unit in the history of the game during the late 80s and early 90s as the Invincibili took the field.
While Rami is far away from being in that class, he has shown impressive anticipatory instincts in reading a play before it happens and acting on the hunch.
Plenty of great interceptions and bone-crunching tackles have already made him a fan favorite among the San Siro faithful.
Improvement to Come
The best is yet to come for Adil Rami at Milan, as he seemingly has to work with a completely different defensive line on a weekly basis.
Taking a look at the changes just goes to show how confused Milan's coaching staff has been with the defense.
So far, he has partnered with Daniele Bonera, Christian Zapata, Philippe Mexes and Cristian Zaccardo in the heart of the defense in the past month. He has massively outperformed all of these defenders and needs one of them to step up so they can create a formidable partnership once the chemistry builds.