Once upon a time, AC Milan used to lead the way in Italy for their youth academy in terms of the youth players being promoted into the first team back in 1990’s. Greats such as Alessandro Costacurta, Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini all graduated from the “Milan Primavera” in the 90’s and were some of the greatest players we have seen. In recent years, however, the production of these youth stars has diminished, and some of the recognisable names who graced the halls of the Primavera have slipped through the hands of the Rossineri. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Matteo Darmian amongst others have failed to make the Milan grade, but have managed to be top stars at other clubs across Europe.
Whilst this may be distressing reading for AC Milan fans, it can only get better. Whilst the likes of Darmian and Aubameyang have been let go in the past, new manager Cristian Brocchi (who was the Primavera manager until replacing Sinisia Mihajlovic recently) will likely try and bleed in some potential new stars as the season draws to a close, in the hope he can discover another diamond like Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Brocchi has picked out Jose Mauri, Manuel Locatelli and Davide Calabria as youngsters who could potentially make starts in the near future. Speaking prior to the game against Carpi, Brocchi said about Mauri “I can see myself in him. He is an incredible player who gives everything during trainings.”
What Milan could do under Brocchi is usher in a new generation of top talent to really galvanise the San Siro crowd. Berlusconi has tried to throw money at the problems in the playing squad, and some of the gambles haven’t exactly worked this season. Whilst the fans may enjoy Mario Balotelli, there may be a better player in the youth academy who could work harder and give more to the team, and the same goes for individuals like Alex, Keisuke Honda and Giancomo Bonaventura.
The likes of Jose Mauri could start in the near future, but the gem that is Hachim Mastour could be the future of the Rossineri. Not to put make any bold predictions of a “Class of ’92” style revolution at the San Siro, but I am merely suggesting that with a club who needs the support of their fans behind them, and under the watchful eye of the former manager of the Primavera, it may be worth trying out some of these talented youngsters in the remaining games of the season.