GdS: ‘Pioli’s little devils’ – six Primavera stars to be involved against Frosinone

By Oliver Fisher -

Due to yet another selection crisis at the hands of injuries and suspensions, Stefano Pioli is expected to field his youngest line-up of the season against Frosinone and name a very young squad.

La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) begin their report this morning by talking about Jan-Carlo Simic, who is tipped to start at centre-back tomorrow alongside Fikayo Tomori in what will be his first Serie A start.

The 18-year-old speaks fluent Serbian, German, Italian and English and they say he is not scared. He will need that kind of spirit, because he is the big favourite to close the big hole opened in Milan’s defence since the injury to Malick Thiaw.

Desperately looking for Tomori’s partner for Milan-Frosinone tomorrow evening, Pioli tried Simic with the starters during training. There has been no official communication but everyone at Milan expects him to get the nod from the first minute.

The alternatives? Play Rade Krunic there again, like in the Champions League, shift Davide Calabria inside or play Davide Bartesaghi. Simple objections: Krunic made mistakes more than once against Dortmund, Alessandro Florenzi (Calabria’s deputy) didn’t train yesterday, Bartesaghi almost always played as a full-back in the first team and has a less tested character.

These are strange days at Milan. Pioli walks a thin line given the recent criticism and poor results and while the ownership confirmed he still has his job for now he knows he needs results, because without those it’s tough.

At a time when experienced heads would normally prevail, tomorrow’s starting lineup – if confirmed as expected – will be the youngest of the season at 25 years and 31 days on average. Not only that, there will be many young players on the bench.

A goalkeeper: Lapo Nava. Two full-backs: Davide Bartesaghi and Alex Jimenez. A winger: Chaka Traoré. A striker: Francesco Camarda. They are all Under 20, with Camarda 15, and their birth years are a journey through time. Nava and Traoré are from 2004, Simic, Bartesaghi and Jimenez from 2005, Camarda from 2008.

Quick portraits for those who don’t usually follow Milan Primavera. Nava is the fourth goalkeeper, promoted to third due to Sportiello’s injury: physical, right approach to life, but he needs to play in order to develop.

Bartesaghi is the summer surprise: left-footed, intelligent on the pitch, he must become more gritty in his play. Jimenez arrived in the summer from Real Madrid, who have a buy-back, and he is a brazen, hyper-fast, very attacking defender like Theo.

Chaka Traoré is a classic winger, seen against Borussia for a few minutes: he dribbles, is direct, accelerates, perhaps he is light but Leao likes him. Everything has been written about Camarda in recent days.

Tags AC Milan Alex Jimenez Chaka Traoré Francesco Camarda Jan-Carlo Simic Lapo Nava


  1. I wish them all to play (except GK),
    we need a deep squad and options.
    Also, we have seen Simic and he is great, and for sure Camarda is better than Jovic even though i didn’t watch him.

  2. We all know Simic have quality, and there will be no surprise when he and Fik can neutralize Frosinone attack. He’s debut will be great like Kalulu did few years ago.

  3. If Simic starts and impresses, while showing great potential, the the question marks around the acquisition of Pellegrino would increase

  4. He says “Pioli walks a thin line”…. More like Pioli is living on a razors edge..!
    I guess now’s the time to put the kids Into combat.

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