GdS: Fonseca ‘the specialist’ with young players – watch out for Camarda

By Euan Burns -

Paulo Fonseca has got a very positive track record when it comes to coaching young players and AC Milan fans will be looking forward to seeing what he can do with some of the talent in the current squad. 

As highlighted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, a player like Francesco Camarda could be in the right position to gain a lot from Fonseca being at the club.

Almost all of the key players in the Milan squad are now under the age of 27 and with Simon Kjaer and Olivier Giroud leaving, two of the oldest players have departed.

This is something that Fonseca will not be concerned by, based on how willing he has been to use young players during his coaching career.

Players like Jan-Carlo Simic, Camarda, Kevin Zeroli and Alex Jimenez who are on the cusp of the first team will stand a great chance of being integrated by Fonseca.

In the past season at Lille, Fonseca coached Leny Yoro to the point where he is likely to sign for Real Madrid and also turned Tiago Santos into a player that Milan are looking closely at.

He gave 124 minutes to Ayyoub Bouaddi who is just 16 years old and he trusted a 2001-born goalkeeper for his two seasons in France.

At Roma, he handed debuts to Edoardo Bove, Ebrima Darboe, Riccardo Calafiori and Nicola Zalewski, and also helped the development of Roger Ibanez and Gonzalo Villar.

When he was at Shakhtar Donetsk, Anatoliy Trubin was 17 and got minutes and is now a highly sought-after goalkeeper.

Tags AC Milan Paulo Fonseca


  1. I don’t like Fonseca, but if he gives more play time to Simic, Zimenes and Zerloi maybe I will start changing my opinion, Yoro and Cubiassi are 17 years old and they played the whole season, are they better than Simic? I don’t think so.

    1. Absolutely spot on. Pioli was horrible in that regard at least last season. He was OK developing Leao and Kalulu but then just stopped.

    2. here is a controversial question. Say Fonseca does play Camarda, Simic, Zeroli etc but we are just 4th on the table and perhaps out in the UCL. Would you guys still be fans?
      That’s the thing, Fans want everything. Play 18-21 year old kids and also expect to win the scudetto. I say this because people on this blog complained so much about Musah, they used to complained 2yrs ago about Rafa, Complained about Thiaw as well. All these examples are young kids. I mean Musah just turned 21. Thiaw is really young for a CB. yet we sacrifice them all the time. I am a fan of playing them, but i also understand there will be some growing pains.

      1. this is what all teams face unless they can get the best young players in the world…Musah, by all measures, had a better first season at the same age than Tonali. Was there patience there? Thiaw is 22 and 6 years from his prime, with immense upside. Camarda can be special of course. Sometimes you have to play young players through their mistakes and you keep giving them confidence because its worth it long term. When you are battling teams that have very deep pockets, you have no other choice. Dortmund is a good example. They just sold Jude and then made the finals the following year. Imagine selling your best player (like a Theo). The fan base would have a mental breakdown…

  2. Spain are already playing several under-20s in their national side. Put the promising young players in the 1st team early – if they’re good enough, they will quickly make the grade.

    1. The thing is we actually need to – it’s the modern lifecycle of a 3 year deal. At the end of year one you are only one year away from having to decide whether to sell or risk losing if no renewal is forthcoming.

      We need a proper look at him this season with decent minutes around his u23 schedule, and then next season (25/26) he has to be fully integrated into the first team because at the end of that season (if not midway through it), it’s negotiation time again.

  3. Over all these years with coaches rumoured to “use young players” I have NEVER seen it happen at Milan. The pressure of the environment in regard to winning doesn’t lend itself to experiment with youth so coaches usually just dont use them. But time will tell….I highly doubt though, but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt. What also works against fielding youth is that the senior squad is so big it takes a long time before you get to use the youth players.

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