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5 Hot Prospects Primed to Break Through at AC Milan

Matteo BonettiContributor IJanuary 20, 2014

5 Hot Prospects Primed to Break Through at AC Milan

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    Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

    If there was ever a club that knew how to nurture and develop young talents, it was Milan back in the late '80s and early '90s.

    A wealth of superstar talent emerged from that bunch that would go on to lead the team to historic success.

    Now, the club must go back to that route, seeing as though they cannot compete with some of the more lavish clubs around Europe.

    Here are five players destined to break through for Milan in the near future.

Bryan Cristante

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    What a revelation the 18-year-old Bryan Cristante has been.

    For a teenager with virtually no experience to step into a struggling Milan side and have such an impact is an incredible achievement.

    His debut as a starter resulted in a goal and another shot which hit the post.

    More than anything, Cristante's ability as a box-to-box midfielder is a welcome addition to a team that is starving for quality in the center of the park.

    He runs with his head up, always scanning the field for a teammate to find in space. Cristante has also shown his long-range shooting ability and penchant for getting into dangerous positions around the box.

     

Kingsley Boateng

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    Luca Bruno/Associated Press

    It's only fitting that a King should take over rather than a Prince.

    The other Boateng isn't related to Kevin-Prince, but he's still in Milan's future plans now that he has been loaned to Catania.

    Kingsley is a striker who impressed in the several friendly matches that he was given a chance to play in with Milan, and the 19-year-old Ghanaian is gaining invaluable experience as he's plying his trade in the top flight.

    Even though he'll most likely be loaned out again next season, prepare to hear a lot more about Kingsley Boateng in the coming years.

M'Baye Niang

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    David Vincent/Associated Press

    Even though M'Baye Niang has been loaned out to Ligue 1 side Montpellier, he is still a player in Milan's future plans.

    His tremendous potential is finally starting to show as he has scored two goals in all competitions this calendar year since his loan move from Milan.

    Niang can play on the wing or as a striker, but was faulted for not scoring. Despite his dry spell in front of the net, he helped the team in other facets but failed to get much time this season under Massimiliano Allegri.

    How he develops at Montpellier will be the deciding factor for Milan to either bring him back or continue loaning him out.

Mattia Valoti

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Other than the occasional friendly match, Mattia Valoti has never played a professional game for Milan.

    The 20-year-old creative midfielder is yet another interesting prospect who came up from the Rossoneri youth ranks.

    He's currently loaned out to third division side Albinoleffe, a place where he began his career before joining Milan's youth.

    Now it's time for Valoti to show that he can play at a higher level. Expect him to be loaned out to a second division side next season, as it'll be a more accurate barometer of his potential.

Gabriel

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    Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

    Milan's 21-year-old goalkeeper got a chance to play in Serie A for a few games this season.

    As expected, his time in between the pipes was met with highs and lows.

    A few brilliant reaction saves were negated by a foul outside the box that resulted in a penalty and a few other inexperienced decisions.

    With Christian Abbiati and Marco Amelia destined to leave this summer, Gabriel might get his chance to fight for the starting position depending on what Clarence Seedorf deems to be the correct decision.

     

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