Tassotti on Theo Hernandez: Fundamental difference between him and Maldini, says Milan’s assistant coach

Former Milan defender, Mauro Tassotti, has shared his views on the reshaping of Milan’s defense under Manager Stefano Pioli, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport. The adjustments were made in response to recent player absences, and according to Tassotti, the changes have been producing positive results.

When asked about Hernandez’s recent shift to the central defensive role, Tassotti commented, “He is doing well, for sure. However, I would wait for more challenging tests to fully promote him to the task.” He then confessed to being surprised seeing Hernandez in a central defensive position as he did not anticipate it.

Comparing the defensive styles of current player Theo Hernandez and Paolo Maldini, Milan’s retired legendary defender, Tassotti noted significant differences. He highlighted that Milan’s defense today is more about one-on-one confrontations. He added, “This is something that benefits Hernandez who is super strong and fast.”

Tassotti also pointed out that while Maldini advanced his role over the years, he retained an excellent ability to read game situations in any position. He noted that Theo, young and in peak form, has immense athletic power which can change the course of a match in an instant.

Tassotti reminisced about the 4-0 Milan-Barcelona match, when Baresi and Costacurta were disqualified. He recollected how the decision of who to play was a challenging one for manager Capello. Eventually, Paolo was chosen, and rest, Tassotti says is history.

Speaking about Hernandez’s role in future matches, Tassotti said, “I would like to see Theo facing off against top European strikers. I am thinking about the likes of Lautaro, Thuram and Vlahovic – players who push you to defend within your 16 yards.”

On the topic of Jimenez, Tassotti had admirable things to say, “He left a good impression. He has personality and can play on both the right and left sides.”

Overall, whilst Tassotti acknowledges the new defensive strategies seem effective, he believes the true test will lie in more challenging games.

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