Youth Season

Friendlies don’t ever give any solid indication of how a team is going to play competitively, let alone how a season will go. They are often played while many of the more senior players are on International duty, or still on vacation after an International tournament. They are also typically played during the mercato, before a team is set. Most importantly, though, friendlies can give a coach a chance to give some minutes to younger players, even Primavera players. This makes for the most compelling reason for fans to watch preseason friendlies. That is why this time of the year is youth season.


Milan's future is very bright with talented youth like this


We have seen way too many seasons where we saw some exciting plays from youth players in the preseason, and then never saw them again. In May, I wrote about the importance of developing young players. We also talked on a podcast about how Milan has failed its youth for so many, many years. When young players were occasionally given a chance to play or be included in the first team, their chances were robbed by the ownership and management changes, and a lack of consistency.

 

This year is different. This year, Milan chose consistency. While many were fooled into thinking another project would be better for youth, we have already seen that this choice has produced amazing new young signings, in addition to providing the correct amount of consistency to support their growth. So these friendlies are allowing us to get a preview of what we will see in the future. If not this season, then very soon. In the match against Monza alone, Calabria was the only “senior” player to score, at the ripe old age of 23. The other three goals were fantastic, and scored by three of the youngest players on the pitch.


The dynasty continues, and it is amazing


Daniel Maldini

From the child in the arms of his legendary father to tackling Clarence Seedorf at the age of five, to being promoted to the first team last season, we have literally watched Daniel Maldini grow up before our very eyes. On Saturday, he opened up his senior team scoring with a fantastic back and forth with Paqueta, ending with the young Maldini on the scoresheet. This guy is definitely not going anywhere.

 

Incredible speed and strength

Pierre Kalulu

Whenerver we sign a new player, we hear people talk about his playing style, but very few have actually seen him play. Until this week, when he featured in both friendlies. Yes, he is fast. And as he proved on Saturday by launching a missile into the lower left corner of the net, he also has a powerful shot. Bienvenue, Pierre.


What an introduction


Lorenzo Colombo

Rumored to be very talented, Colombo had a brief appearance at the end of this past season, but we really didn’t get a chance to see much of him. So the young striker, just promoted from the Primavera this last year, took the opportunity to introduce himself in stoppage time with a fantastic goal from the top of the box on Saturday. If you saw the goal, you will want him to stay with the first team for sure.


What were you doing when you were 17?


Perhaps the most exciting performance of the game against Novara came from the 17 year-old Swedish player, Emil Roback. In that match, he got an assist and had a goal called back for offside. Watching him was extraordinary, the way he moves and how well he played with older, more experienced players, too. He is definitely going to be one to watch out for.

 

Additionally, on Saturday, we saw the debut of Brahim Diaz, the 21 year-old attacking midfielder from Real Madrid. Having just signed his contract the day before, he was given about 20 minutes to show what he could do. He only needed a minute, though, to show his skills, giving fans a lot of hope for his potential at the club.


The best is yet to come from our new #21


There is also Tommaso Pobega, the 21 year-old midfielder who was brought back from two seasons on loan to fortify the Milan bench, and he is supposed to be very talented, as well. In the next few days, another exciting and very talented young player will have his medicals and sign his contract with Milan, Sandro Tonali. We may or may not get a chance to see him in the preseason friendlies, but everyone who has watched him play knows that we will see a lot of him for a very long time.

 

Two friendlies, two wins, eight goals scored, three goals conceded. None of that means anything, unless you are the opposing team and got your photo opp with Ibrahimovic. But we did get so see some very exciting and talented young players. Their goals were not just any goals, they were fantastic. And we may just get to see more of them. If not now or even this season, in the future. So for now, let’s just enjoy the youth season.

 

 

This post inspired by Alphaville’s “Forever Young”

 

 

 

Our next match is a friendly

Milan vs. Vicenza

Wednesday, September 9 • 17:00 CEST (11am EDT)

Youth Season Youth Season Reviewed by Elaine on 12:30 AM Rating: 5
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