Ibrahimovic honest about Camarda’s development: “He will struggle at the beginning”

By Oliver Fisher -

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has suggested that Francesco Camarda could find playing in Serie C quite difficult at first, but AC Milan back him to eventually explode at that level too.

At 15 years, 8 months and 15 days, Camarda became the youngest ever to debut in Serie A last season and is fresh from winning the Under 17 European Championship in which he was voted best player of the tournament with four goals in five games.

He might be one of the most talked about 16 year olds in all of football, and while there is certainly a romance to the story because Camarda is a Milanista and has been spotted in the Curva Sud before, with this there comes some pressure on Milan to manage his development the right way.

Indeed, Milan will take their place in Serie C with a new second team that aims to create a pool of 50-55 players that can move between the first team and the second team. Camarda is expected to be a leading player.

Ibrahimovic spoke alongside Bonera at a press conference the club put on to mark the launch of the Milan Futuro project and he was rather predictable asked about what the plans are for Camarda.

“Everyone thinks it will be easy but it won’t be easy. He will struggle at the beginning. We are here to protect him, the responsibility is ours. We have to give him time to grow step by step. We have to prepare him to arrive in the first team.

“We believe in him a lot, he is one of those talents with great potential. It won’t be easy, we will follow him step by step. The idea with everyone is to always have minutes on the pitch, the players must always have minutes in the match.

“If they don’t play in the Futuro they will play in the Primavera, if they don’t play in the Primavera they play in the U18. You grow more by playing in the match, not just in training.

“If you never play you don’t grow, it is important for us that everyone has minutes. Milan Futuro will have 22-23 players, like the first team. Everyone must have space to play, not waste time.

“If you have a duel between Camarda and Brahim Diaz – when Diaz was here – Brahim wins because he is an adult. For all the other teams against us it will be a final, for us it is a path to grow.

“I can imagine the first six months with a lot of effort, while in the following six months I see the talent grow. With all due respect, ours are players who will grow, those who are in Serie C follow a line.

“Camarda has already trained with us. Milan Futuro will be very close to the first team, they will always be in contact with the first team. This is why they say they will be a single team, but still divided. However, they will always be close.

“If Camarda is then ready for the first team according to Fonseca then he will play there. At the moment a number nine is missing from the first team, then when the number nine arrives Camarda will be in competition with him.

“It is always about competition, those who are in Milan Futuro must have the mentality to be in competition with those who play in the first team. Then there is reality, but this is the mentality.”

Tags AC Milan Francesco Camarda Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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