GdS: The two main reasons Milan continue to buy from abroad rather than Italy

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan are expected to have zero Italian players in their starting line-up for their Serie A opener against Bologna on Monday night, but how did this become a possibility?

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) has a double page spread titled ‘Milan internazionale’ which makes note of the fact that the Rossoneri are likely to have a fully foreign starting XI against Bologna due to Davide Calabria’s fitness problems.

Milan’s Italian influence has been on the decline for some time though and at the end of the summer transfer window there will be just five Azzurri players left in the squad, the lowest quota ever recorded.

Last year there were six, in 2021-22 they were nine and the year before that – in the 2020-21 season – the number was eight. But Why are the Diavolo choosing to almost always go abroad to buy players?

The first reason is because it’s economically convenient. As an example, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tijjani Reijnders combined cost as much as Davide Frattesi at Inter, while they can also take advantage of the Growth Decree.

The second reason is that the Rossoneri are betting on the European experience of even quite young players. This is so Pioli has a squad with an international feel; one that is more athletic, aggressive and physical.

Tags AC Milan


    1. Musah is a waste of money
      Loftus Cheek and Pulisic were bought cheaper because of their injury issues and this will bite us sooner and later

      1. Musah is not a waste of money. He will be starting by mid-season and probably end up being our best midfielder within 2 seasons. A ton of talent.

        1. Leave him alone… poor dude probably been pushed around so much in his life that he now wants to consistently blame black people for his troubles while sitting on his droopy white ass behind the safety of a computer screen. LOL. I’m guessing someone important in his life got banged by a black guy. 😀

  1. The real reasons are the Primavera/youth system being ineffective and growing gap in quality in serie A and abroad. If they had a proper youth system they’d be able to fill their teams with (most likely) Italian players who can make it to the level of serie A. What they do now is padding….. basically Italian players are there to fill quotas but not necessarily to play them as they’re not ready enough or the culture still hasn’t changed to giving youth players chances. So we’ll constantly buy foreign players, play them at the expense of the Italian quota ones.
    Its probably why Colombo,.smartly, wants to go. Why wait around when they bought Okafor….he knows he’s not getting game time and can develop elsewhere

  2. You know how much inter paid for Bastoni? 31M. When he was 20 something, 9 matches played for Atalanta.
    Barella? 45M
    Was it worth it? Well, they are great players, but.
    You can get players of equal caliber for less if you’re smart about it. ofc they wont be italian, but who cares?
    Juve paid 55M for chiesa

    1. Don’t forget Bernardeschi and Locatelli for 40 mil.
      Juventus signed wingers Chiesa and bernardeschi for combined 95 mil. 🗑
      Milan and Napoli signed wingers Leao and Kvaratskhelia for combined 40 mil

      1. I like Locatelli. They never should have sold him. Only comfort i get from that is that money went to buy Bennacer who i like even more.
        O man i forgot about bernardeschi.
        They also paid 26M for Rovelal and now theyre jsut loaning him around. Same with Pellegrini, 22M.
        Seems like if Milan wants an Italin they have to compete with Juve or Inter and those 2 are prepared to pay a ridiculous sum.
        We got lucky with Tonali

          1. 💯 agreed. Locatelli is so overrated. Anyone playing next to 2 of Verratti Jorghino or Barella like Locatelli did at the Euros will look amazing – but when he’s by himself and has to control a game he simply cannot. Ok player nothing more

    2. Exactly. Talented Italian youth cost a premium, as their development clubs, like Sassuolo, are not foolish and ask for top dollar to sell. The “growth decree” has also backfired in this regard. What did they expect when they passed a law discounting taxes for foreign players?

    3. I would take Chiesa over this unproven Chuk guy
      But there is no excuse for the defense not having a single Italian(apart from Calabria who SUCKS and should be sold already)
      I mean come on, there are plenty of Italian centre-backs out there who are better than useless Tomori.

      1. “Unproven Chuk guy”? What do you mean by that? Where do you prove people or what’s your yardstick for proven players? Una go just de carp anyhow.

      2. You’re clearly an idiot. You’d rather take a player that has had endless and rather serious injuries like Chiesa over Chukwueze?

  3. The unfortunate truth is that Italy is just not producing great players like they used to. Which is why they have missed the last 2 World Cups. Struggling to name the great players they have produced in the last 5 to ten years.

    1. Yet they won Euro 2021, which you are ignoring.
      The reason they missed out WC 2022 was a coaching problem.
      Mancini almost sabotaged Euro 2021 too by insisting on playing Verratti and Jorginho who are both similar players and benching Locatelli and Chiesa after group stage and playing defensively for no reason.

      1. Honestly, winning the Euro was a surprise. You can see right after, they missed everything else just like when Leicester surprisingly won the Premier League in 2016.
        How about now they have played Chiesa and Locatelli, what happened? The truth is there’s no great Italian players around, not even in Series A. Just look at the last 3 series A standing from top Series A scorers, MVP, best young players of the season and so on

      2. They won the Euros because it was the last gasp of the last generation of great players like Chiellini and Bonucci and Veratti. Those are the last great players Italy has produced.

        1. You didnt watch the Euros.
          Verratti was crp in Euro 2021.
          Locatelli was the best player and was unfairly benched.
          Verratti-Jorginho pivot didnt work at all.

          Mancini got bailed out by Bonucci and Donnarumma in the final.

  4. Italy still sees Acerbi starting for them in the national team. That just about sums it up for me. Sure, we will sign players like Calafiori to meet a quota, but it’s really difficult to name anyone.

    I suppose Pellegrino is of Italian descent with his Italian passport and all. I guess that’s one way.

    1. I blame the coaches for the nazionale selections. They may say “we do this because Acerbi is the best choice”, but I don’t believe that. Even after the misadventure with Ventura and his “senatori”, Italy coaches still show a preference for player that are old hands or “their players:=”. None have the balls to take young talent and let them run.

      1. I knew you were an interista…

        Show up out of nowhere, talk a ton of sht except for inter players and totally delusional about calcio 🤣🤣🤣

        1. The opposite of love is apathy not hate
          Im indifferent to Inter so why would I feel the need to talk sht about their players?(even though I hate Acerbi since Lazio days)
          Tomorrow a former Inter player could play for us, like Seedorf and Pirlo for example.

      2. Man i’m starting to think that this dave is actually martin in disguise.
        Both love to talk out of their asses spurting non senses

  5. If italian players are so good surely they wouldn’t miss 2 world cups.

    They have become like english players in premier league, overrated and overpriced.

  6. Like it or not, italian has more spirit. Last time milan won champion league when there were a lot of italian. Buying outside italian does not guarantee success.. CDK for example.. milan bought it for 35ml and flop, he can’t adopt to italian football, the same is true for paquetta. Inter bought barella and bastoni with high price but looks how much it worth now. Only sensi who looks fail because injury prone. Yes milan success with leao and maignan. tomori is declining now..

    1. Yes ur right. This is DNA Acmilan were a lot of italian. The Owner do not this. So I think this season Acmilan going colaps to serie B then the new owner can buy Acmilan with great respect for history DNA of Acmilan. Or almost number 14 in liage Serie A

  7. The problem is Italy doesn’t produce great players anymore like it used to be the case before, you can see how bad the National team perform lately even missed the last 2 world cups and other competitions. They’re just not able to compete the great European teams. And the very few Italian talents are very expensive. Right now you can’t really say Italy have great players. Barely, DiMarco, Donnarumma, Chiesa, Tonali, Scamacca, Sensi, Frattesi, Berardi just unproven and expensive. They still have to rely on Mobile, Acerbi and so on, now good enough internationally

  8. I don’t quite understand how people can say Calabria sucks when he was the best RB in the league when we won the title, people on here have the memory of goldfish. The only reason Calabria has struggled is due to injuries last season. He’s barely one season removed from winning the league.

  9. The main reason is actually Milan don’t have faith in their youngster. That’s it.
    It is all depend on the coach.
    When Elliot took over, the brought the idea to believe in young player. However Milan never found the right coach for the project.
    How can u tell that italy don’t produce good player, if the youngster never got chances or only to be seen as a backup

    1. I agree with you. It looks as if Milan are inpatient to become a top club in a short space of time yet forgetting it will only last if you rebuild around an Italian core. Hoping we can integrate more Italians going forward

      1. The impatient one is the fans itself… Maybe you are okay with us being a mediocre and entrust the team to primavera players… But others are not… You can see how much they babbling when we are signing a young or unknown players… To have faith to the players, the players itself must have the potential… Italy has small pool of that thing right now thats why the price is skyrocket eventhough they are unproven or mediocre… Even Juve doesnt have Italian starting CB for now… The problem is not just on club but on FIGC and serie A itself… They are the one competent to thinking and making rules for the future… Look at France they have big talent pool that make their youngster have less price than Italian one with maybe more or the same quality…

    2. Very true. Rather than buying young Italian talent we should develop it.
      But they’ll never be ready, according to Pioli.

      And why are we buying an unknown lottery ticket instead of using Colombo??

  10. I agree with you. It looks as if Milan are inpatient to become a top club in a short space of time yet forgetting it will only last if you rebuild around an Italian core. Hoping we can integrate more Italians going forward

  11. Ur right young player Italian never get trust from big club. That why national team get impact. The real problem is coach. Pioli is suck coach. He is lucky get win scudetto. Like Allegri before after get win sxudetto. He get fired. Allegri is suck coach to. He is the first coach that destroy acmilan culture player must from Italian

  12. Growth decree, higher resale value, targeting big foreign markets and because prices of Italians are inflated as English. That’s because Italy produce talents much less then before when Serie A was at the top of football world.

    Still, Italy u19 just won European championship.

    1. Yup… The talent pool is small thats why the price is going high… While france has produce many talent that make their price is more affordable…

  13. But my own concern is, do we have any ball joggler in our middle, that roll the ball and play an accurate passes, as in standing 10, if not it will be difficult for our front lines to get passes oo

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