CM: Vergine pushing for Milan U23 side as talents continue to impress

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan decided to put faith in the ‘kids’ for last night’s Coppa Italia tie against Cagliari, and it is yet another clue pointing towards a development in the youth sector. recall how last night in the round of 16 win against Cagliari, Stefano Pioli gave ample trust to the players born in 2004 (Chaka Traoré) and 2005 (Jan-Carlo Simic, Alex Jimenez, Luka Romero, Kevin Zeroli and Davide Bartesaghi).

Traoré who also scored, while Jimenez and Simic produced more than convincing performances in the defensive line, but what matters is that Milan can count on a solid backbone for the future and have additional resources amid the current injury crisis.

The case of Simic, who scored on his debut in Serie A against Monza, is emblematic: if Tommaso Pobega hadn’t been injured early on he probably wouldn’t have come on except for the final moments of the match.

Zeroli came on against Sassuolo, but that was largely due to the absence of Yunus Musah and the fact Rade Krunic is on the way out. The impact of Jimenez (on loan from Real Madrid with an option to buy and a buy-back) was excellent, after he showed interesting signs and waited for his moment.

Before being a regular part of the Milan squad, however, these talents need experience in senior football and consistent playing time. Loan spells are of course an option, but this is also where the ‘B-team’ hypothesis gains steam.

Atalanta and above all Juventus are leading the way as each have U23 teams. Juve Next Gen are giving Max Allegri interesting players to work with, like Miretti and Fagioli before, Barrenechea and above all Soulé, now Huijsen and Yildiz.

A team in Serie C allows kids to measure themselves with professional football by closely monitoring their growth, a priority for the head of the youth sector Vincenzo Vergine.

However, first of all it is necessary for some clubs to renounce registration for the league or, as an alternative, that supernumerary registration is permitted (the league expands). It is a work in progress, but Milan know they have talents and they want them to reach their full potential.

Tags AC Milan


  1. Second squad is a must especially now with the cancellation of tax breaks for new players transferred from outside Italy from 1 January 2024. We must develop more and more italian players and young talents from other countries that we can bring cheap and develop into important players.

  2. Milan need to push for a U23 team. A great example is the Netherlands. There are just a few teams have a second team playing in the second division of the Netherlands. And these teams profit greatly with their youth squads. Ajax, psv and az have a second team. Feyenoord doesn’t. They have a problem with the last step to their first team. Also they are less attractive for youth players since they don’t have that second squad on a high level. Feyenoord can’t register the second squad because of closing of the league a couple of years ago and it has been their biggest mistake.

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