5 Future Stars to Look out for in AC Milan's Academy
With AC Milan enduring what was undoubtedly their worst campaign in recent memory last season, the club took the decision to make drastic changes ahead of 2014-15.
Just like Massimiliano Allegri, Clarence Seedorf failed to arrest the speedy decline of one of European football’s true giants, guiding them to a lowly eighth place in Serie A.
They sacked the retired midfielder just four months after he was appointed, holding the opinion that he had done no better than his predecessor.
Having missed out on Europe for the first time since 1997-98, per Football Italia, the Rossoneri turned to yet another former hero to restore their wounded pride.
Filippo Inzaghi has taken charge, moving over from leading the club’s Primavera (under-19s) to his first ever top-flight role.
He is expected to lean heavily on Milan’s thriving academy, with many of his youth team expected to make the leap along with him.
On the following pages are the five best prospects from the Rossoneri’s youth sector, ranked in order of age. Fans of the club will hope to hear much more from them in the not-too-distant future.
Davide Pacifico (January 1994)
Already 20 years old, Davide Pacifico is one of the oldest members of the Milan academy, but he may also be one of its brightest prospects.
Captain of Inzaghi’s side last term, he led them to the club’s first triumph in the prestigious Viareggio Tournament in over a decade.
Primarily a central defender, Pacifico formed an excellent partnership with Luca Iotti, while he is also capable of playing at left-back if required.
He made a good impression in last summer’s Audi Cup, and he is a highly regarded youngster among those in charge at Milan.
Andrea Petagna (June 1995)
Andrea Petagna has already made five appearances for the Milan first team, as well as another five during a loan spell with Sampdoria last term.
Still only a 19-year-old, the striker has yet to notch his first Serie A goal, but he returned to help the Rossoneri win the Viareggio Tournament in February.
A strong, right-footed striker, Petagna has often been compared with a young Christian Vieri by those watching him on a regular basis.
Krisztian Tamas (April 1995)
A highly touted prospect when he switched to Milan from his native Hungary back in 2011, Krisztian Tamas faded into the background somewhat after moving to the peninsula.
The 18-year-old initially struggled to adapt to Italian football, particularly when Inzaghi’s predecessor, Aldo Dolcetti, deployed the Primavera in a 3-4-3 formation.
Once the former Italy striker took over, however, Tamas thrived. His admirable work ethic brought him to the fore once again. The left-back drastically improved both his weaker right foot and also his aerial ability, both marked out previously as weaknesses in his game.
Andrej Modic (March 1996)
Capable of playing almost anywhere in midfield, talented Bosnian Andrej Modic could be the player most well-suited to the first team under Inzaghi.
The 18-year-old has shown during Milan’s UEFA Youth League run that he has an excellent range of passing and a dangerous shot.
Regularly training with the first team last term, it is surely only a matter of time before he is given his Rossoneri debut.
Hachim Mastour (June 1998)
Hachim Mastour may only be a 16-year-old, but Milan have already given him training time with the first team at the end of last season. In a public relations exercise typical of the San Siro club, Adriano Galliani arrived to present the Moroccan starlet as if he were a world-record signing.
Regular watchers of the Milan youth sides could not fail to have noticed his ability on the ball, his technical gifts, and his movement off the ball. Mastour would be an unused substitute in their final game of 2013-14, with fans hoping to get a glimpse of the attacking midfielder in what was ultimately a meaningless match.
A good decision-maker when in possession, Mastour and Milan must hope he receives many more similar opportunities.
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