Red Bull Salzburg’s sporting director Christoph Freund has given some insight into how they try to operate as a club and how that might be a similar approach to AC Milan.
A report earlier today highlighted how Milan and Salzburg have a common vision such as the heavy trust and reliance in scouting, i.e. in the recruitment and training of talents who can become important for the first team or generate capital gains.
RB Salzburg have seen the likes of Mané, Haaland, Keita, Upamecano, Dabour, Szoboszlai and Adeyemi pass through, while the Rossoneri have recruited and kept Kalulu, Tomori, Theo Hernandez, Maignan, Tonali, Bennacer, Leao and others.
Freund spoke during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport (via PianetaMilan) and was asked about Salzburg’s project and their hopes for the Champions League campaign, which begins for them on home turf against the Italian champions tonight.
“Last year we lost only one match out of four against Bayern and Sevilla, eliminating the Spaniards from the Champions League in a do-or-die game. I don’t think we can be underestimated,” he began.
“We sign young people for our first team or kids to be included in the youth sector which must always be at the forefront. Here young players have the opportunity to win titles in Austria and to gain European experience at the highest level.
“We have been in the group stage of the Champions League for four years in a row and, sometimes, as happened last year, we even get through. We know that players of the caliber of Erling Haaland, Dominik Szoboszlai and Karim Adeyemi do not stay long in the Austrian league. This is why when they are ready we sell them, obtaining an advantage for everyone.”
On the idea of Milan having a similar philosophy, he added: “I don’t want to talk about other clubs. Each club has a history, which also depends on its country. Objectively, it is easier in a league like ours to insert young players, even if in our country the players must have the desire and quality to grow and mature in the best possible way.
“In the five best leagues in Europe it is more difficult to carry out this type of project. However, Milan are one of the best in the world, otherwise they would not have won Serie A. In recent years they have changed their skin and strengthened, relying on the experience of Olivier Giroud and Zlatan Ibrahimović and the talent of some young players. We want to put them in trouble with our football. This is our challenge.”
He also highlighted some players to keep an eye on: “We believe in everyone’s quality. I must say, however, that Fernando – the striker we have taken from Shakhtar Donetsk – has adapted really well. You will learn to know him. But over time, others will do well too. They are all young players, you have to be patient. Everyone needs their time.”