Camarda, Scotti, Sia, Magni and more: The Milan youth stars flying the Italian flag

By Oliver Fisher -

The current international break has provided yet more proof that there are a number of exciting young talents in the AC Milan youth sector, more specifically ones who represent Italy at various levels.

There has at times been a quite vocal discontent about a lack of Milan presence in the Italian national team, with only Davide Calabria and Alessandro Florenzi really having spent a decent amount of time there, while Matteo Gabbia and Tommaso Pobega have had much more brief spells.

However, that might all be about to change as the internationals over the past few days have shown that there are several candidates who wear the Rossonero shirt and have a good chance of donning the famous Azzurri jersey in the years to come.

Filippo Terracciano – Italy U20s

As we move in descending age order, the first Italy youth international that Milan have is Filippo Terracciano who has now made eight appearances for the U20 side.

He played for 45 minutes during a 0-0 draw with Romania in the U20 Elite League on March 21 and rather interestingly he was used as a central midfielder, a role that he has become accustomed to for his country.

We did more of a deep dive into Terracciano during an analysis when he signed, but it would be fair to say he has become somewhat of an object of mystery since then, just like his position given he can play left-back, right-back, wing-back, centre-back and in midfield.

Terracciano arrived in January from Hellas for €4.5m plus bonuses with the reputation of being a young talent who can play virtually anywhere on the field. The Italian has so far amassed 21 minutes in the Europa League, three in the league and 28 in the Coppa Italia, against Atalanta.

His last appearance dates back to 22 February against Rennes – six minutes on the pitch in place of Florenzi. Even before that he had played the first leg against the French side and in the match against Bologna at San Siro, he was the one who committed a foul for a penalty which Orsolini scored.

Nonetheless, he was definitely signed as a name for the future rather than for right now, and getting regular minutes at international level can only help.

Kevin Zeroli – Italy U19s

Zeroli grew up in Busto Arsizio which is around 35km from central Milan. He was a fan of the Rossoneri during his childhood, and his bond with the club becomes more solid day after day.

The midfielder is the leader and captain of Ignazio Abate’s Primavera, is experiencing a golden moment and looks to the future with his head held high, and that includes the national team.

Zeroli was a protagonist with Bernardo Corradi’s Italy U19 team over the break as he started in Wednesday’s 3-1 victory in Lignano Sabbiadoro against Scotland, in the 2-1 against the Czech Republic in Udine and in the 5-0 win over Georgia yesterday.

Against the Scots, Zeroli scored the 1-0 goal as an opportunist, his first with the U19s, paving the way for his team in a controlled match without major problems. That came a few days after he sealed the win for the Primavera against Lazio too.

He netted again during the rout of Georgia, finishing nicely after a wonderful move by the team, and he continued his trend of making runs into dangerous areas to be on hand for finishing off moves.

Zeroli has seven goals and two assists in 25 appearances with the Primavera this season across all competitions, while he was also summoned by Stefano Pioli to make his senior debut against Sassuolo in December.

An energetic, tough and technically solid box-to-box midfielder, there is no doubting that we are seeing the start of a journey that could be very special, hopefully with a renewal soon to follow.

Davide Bartesaghi – Italy U19s

Another player who has found himself in and around the orbit of the first team this season is Bartesaghi, and he clearly caught Pioli’s eye to the extent he went on the preseason tour of the United States last summer.

The 18-year-old has become a bedrock of Abate’s side playing both as a left-back and a centre-back given his size at 1.93m, and like Zeroli he is also now a pillar of the Italy U19 side.

Bartesaghi played a full 90 minutes during the win over Scotland as a left-back, while he also played the full game against Georgia on Tuesday helping to keep a clean sheet.

What the future holds for the versatile defender is a bit more unknown than that of Zeroli, who seems destined to take up a position in the midfield rotations sooner rather than later.

It feels like for Bartesaghi a loan deal might become a possibility or he could well be a cornerstone of the new U23 project the club want to launch.

Either way, with nine caps to his name for Italy U19s, 28 games with the Primavera and seven appearances with the senior side, he is another player that has been spotted early and has high potential.

Diego Sia – Italy U19s

Diego Sia took a step up over the recent international break as his form for Milan was recognised and he joined Zeroli and Bartesaghi in the Italy U19 side.

He had actually made his first appearance for Corradi’s team last month, playing 69 minutes as a second striker, but against Georgia he came of the bench in the second half and scored his first goal.

Not only that, but Sia scored just a few seconds after coming on and then he set up the final goal as well to get his first assist, finding Luca Di Maggio with a lovely ‘trivela’ pass to complete a splendid afternoon.

The winger has made 51 appearances for the Primavera overall with 16 goals and six assists, while he has an impressive five goals in 11 UEFA Youth League games too.

Across the various competitions he has 20 goal contributions (13 goals, seven assists) in 36 games, showing that he is adding end product and intelligence with each passing game.

Chaka Traore’s departure for Palermo on an initial loan showed that there is no such thing as a guaranteed spot in the first team pecking order, so Sia at 18 needs to keep his head down and forge a path.

Adam Bakoune – Italy U18s

Bakoune is another interesting full-back prospect that Milan have on their books and he too has become one of Abate’s most reliable performers.

The 18-year-old has been used mostly on the right side of a four-man defence and he has eight appearances for Italy U18s, even having made the step up for two U19 games in October of last year.

Bakoune played 90 minutes in the first of two friendlies for Italy U18s – both of which were against Austria – over the current break, getting an assist in the 2-1 win on March 21.

With 15 UEFA Youth League appearances and 46 other outings for the Primavera, Bakoune is continuing to push on with his development and is showing a real improvement in the defensive side of his game.

He has seven assists to his name for Milan Primavera which also shows that he likes to get forward too, while he has also filled in at left-back on the odd occasion. Could he be a long-term Florenzi replacement?

Vittorio Magni – Italy U18s

The bizarre twist for Bakoune is that he might actually face a fight to keep his own spot at right-back in the Primavera because of the emergence of Vittorio Magni.

A year younger than Bakoune at 17, the defender was promoted to the Primavera last summer and he has 29 appearances to his name this season, with a mix of starts and spells off the bench.

Magni played 27 times for Milan’s U17s before it was decided he was good enough for the step up, and his six UEFA Youth League outings this season show the trust Abate his.

Not only that, but the marauding defender played eight times for Italy U17s starting from November 2022 when he was 16 years of age, then was promoted to the U18s to compete against generally older opponents.

Magni played for 90 minutes at left-back in the game in which Bakoune started on the other flank in the win over Austria, which is of course great news for Milan as both got valuable game time.

Filippo Scotti – Italy U18s

Scotti has been one of the revelations at Milan, not just because of the performances he has put in for his club but also what he is starting to show for the Azzurrini too.

The 17-year-old winger has four goals and seven assists in 35 games across all competitions for the Primavera in 2023-24 thus far.

He has played mostly on the right side where there is strong competition from the likes of Hugo Cuenca and the aforementioned Sia.

Scotti’s five goal contributions (two goals, three assists) in seven Youth League games catapulted his status as being a man for the big occasions and helped fire them into the Final Four which will take place next month.

He is yet to make his debut for the U18 side but has been called up and the feeling is that it is a case of when rather than if. Getting international recognition is another big step.

Francesco Camarda – Italy U17s

Camarda is Italy’s most talked-about 16-year-old and he also made headlines over the international break with more goals for his country.

On Saturday he scored twice against Belgium with Italy U17s, won a penalty and created another goal, which ended up on the scoresheet as an own-goal.

And so, the Milan fans are back to asking themselves the classic question of recent weeks: will he extend his deal, given that he can now do so having turned 16?

For an answer, we need to wait. Milan reached an agreement in principle for Camarda in recent weeks but that agreement is being put to the test of time, as per a recent report.

Italy U17s played three times over the break and Camarda started the 2-0 win over Netherlands one week ago, scored twice in the win over Belgium three days later and earned a 2-2 draw against Finland yesterday with a last-minute penalty.

He now has seven goals in 12 appearances for the U17s, with nine of them being starts, in addition to 12 goals and four assists in 31 games for Milan Primavera.

Mattia Liberali – Italy U17s

It may surprise you to learn that Liberal is in fact the more established name for Italy U17s compared to Camarda despite the fact they are the same age, as he has 20 appearances at that level with the first dating back to November 2022.

Liberali has been mostly used as an attacking midfielder when called upon by his country, and he got two goals from that role during the current break, against Netherlands and Belgium.

The 16-year-old was deemed too good for Milan U17s after just 19 games (with seven goals, six assists) and he is now showing his talent with the Primavera.

Under Abate’s orders, Liberali – who has been deployed as an attacking midfielder and a right winger by the Primavera coach – has five goals in 17 appearances with two assists.

You can make a strong case for Liberali being the talent with the highest ceiling who is currently at Milan and especially if you have watched him play, along with Camarda of course.

He demonstrates skill and intelligence on the field that is well beyond his years and given that he is just 16, he could also grow physically to become an almost impossible proposition to deal with.

Honourable mentions

There are some names that deserve a shout too, perhaps because they are on the fringes of a particular team like Alessandro Bonomi is with Italy U18s, or because they are in lower age groups.

Lapo Nava remains a name to keep an eye on but he has not made ground internationally yet, while Emanuele Sala is pushing for a spot in the midfield of the U17s.

Going down the pyramid of the youth sector we come to Christian Terni’s Under 18s, where Gioele Perina, a left-footed playmaker, is one of those who is showing off the most. Born in 2006, he arrived at the Rossoneri at eight years old and has already played in the Primavera.

The U17 team are the one that are in the best form at the entire club, thanks to a record-breaking season so far. Christian Comotto and Simone Lontani, born in 2008 like Camarda, are the stars as attacking midfielders and strikers respectively.

Tags AC Milan Davide Bartesaghi Diego Sia Francesco Camarda Kevin Zeroli Mattia Liberali Vittorio Magni


  1. The future is bright so long as we keep an hold of everyone. Having the U23 team would elevate these players even more.

    1. I have very little hope that Camarda is staying. The signs are not good… Hope I’m wrong, but I don’t blame the management for this one, though I’d like to see him benched going forward.

      That said, whether we keep Camarda or not, U23 and the new stadium are the next pieces, so far management is doing right in this area.

    2. No chance.

      I doubt any of these players will be still at Milan in a few years time.

      In fact I doubt most of the first team will be still at Milan in a few years time.

      1. Why? Because most have been here for 3+ years and its therefore quite normal for them to leave? Or because we no longer have Maldini?

        1. Maldini sold Cutrone and blocked his own son’s development.

          Now it’s got nothing to do with Maldini.

          It’s modern football. Players don’t stay a clubs for very long and youth team players virtually never make it.

          And the media do love to both promote youth players and an endless churn of players and managers which makes their viability all but impossible

      1. Locatelli the Euro winner?

        I know, I know, actually winning the European championships doesn’t make someone ‘good’.

        But Adli. Wow.

  2. From the matches ive seen i quite like scotti. He is a small fella and time will show if he can make it but i nevertheless like his style.

  3. Italy hardly give young players a real chance. Hence their counterparts from other countries develop faster and finer

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.