MN: Pioli reflects as Bartesaghi makes a case for staying in the first team

By Oliver Fisher -

The minutes that he got during AC Milan’s preseason campaign show just how highly regarded Davide Bartesaghi is, and a stay in the first team cannot be excluded.

MilanNews write how Bartesaghi has an imposing physique, good footwork and great concentration, which are three important pre-requisites for a player hoping to make the jump to play consistent first team football.

Even last year Pioli called Bartesaghi (still 16 at the time) up for a training camp at Milanello. After a good season played under the guidance of Ignazio Abate, he climbed the hierarchies to now potentially be considered as the deputy left-back.

However, he could be an important wild card too. In the last friendly match against Novara, Pioli deployed the 18-year-old as a left-sided centre-back, preferring him to Mattia Caldara who has years of Serie A experience.

Milan have made eight signings this summer and are believed to be looking for a new centre-back and left-back, but the solution could be found ‘in house’ by fully promoting the teenager to work under Theo Hernandez.

Pioli is reflecting on the situation, while the player continues to do his bit to try and convince, as demonstrated by the commitment and quality shown so far.

Tags AC Milan Davide Bartesaghi


  1. For me the big question is if he’s good enough one-on-one. He looks too me to lack a bit of pace. Positioning he can learn, but pace is not something that you can learn. Either you got it, or not.

  2. Stop this nonsense about the pace already. All of the homegrown trio: him, Simic and Pobega have pace. And they all should play a role in this Milan

    1. Agreed. Why is Pioli pushing for another CB? We should utilize Bartesaghi and Simic as our two “new” defenders. They aren’t going to start right away, so they’ll have time with the first team in practice to get integrated. Then, we’ll also have extra funds to use towards a striker/regista.

    2. Simic has enough pace, yes. The other two no. Pobega is almost always late in tackles, and the reason is that he is not quick enough to be really effective in pressing. When he gets going, he is pacey enough for his position on the field, but defensively he just irritates me for the amount of freekicks he causes.

  3. A little too erratic, no? He can be a good back up in garbage minutes (assuming we have those this season) but not sure about starting a medium to big game with him. That being said, it’s the best way to develop..Simic has better composure but lacks positioning and awareness. So that’s the trade off I suppose

    1. Need to have a youth team U23 in Serie C to develop. Primavera level is like serie D. If a primavera player is good he can be sent to the U23 since 17 or 18 years old.

      Almost all primavera players need a season of professional football before they can be a contributing member to a big team. Casadei of Inter is arguably one of the best Italian players for his age, is 20 years old but he was sent for a loan to Reading in lower league and this year he’s loaned again to Leicester in the lower leage.
      Bartesaghi is 17 and Simic are 18, they lack experience at this level.

      There are very few coaches that can get U20 youngsters to play and perform in the first team easily. Simic and Bartesaghi are a big gamble right now.

      1. Totally agree @Bob. Even some of players on loans who are supposed to be our better prospects went to Serie C teams. Best they just go to Ajax, Brugge or PSV to develop tbh.
        I commented last year here that the Primavera as a whole is not very good competition right now. It’s lacking in quality. It’s why I dont get hyper when a kid does well there because the level is not great. But that being said, best of luck to them. Calabria for instance wouldn’t have developed if (1) there wasn’t an immediate need in the first team and (2) availability for first team minutes. They just got to take their chances when it comes

      2. Just my 2 cents here but I find it weird that there’s some kind of ‘steps’ that must be followed by (especially Italian) youngsters to prosper in Italy. It appears that they are supposed to have a full season being developed in Serie C, then Serie B the next season, then loaned to mid table/lower table Serie A teams the following, before they return to the parent club – which will probably sell them anyway since they’re homegrown and these types of players are the best to be sold to props up the balance sheet.

        In contrast, talented players in other countries is sent right away to the first team, take Barcelona for example. They promoted Ansu Fati before he hits 17 amongst other examples. We have actually done this with Gigio, who had over 200 games in Serie-A before he hits 21, and this is the path that most Italian teams should be doing. Of course, Gigio is a generational talent and is an exception rather than the norm, but imagine how many players would be unearthed if all Italian teams are less orthodox regarding this issue.

        Also ironically, if Serie-A teams purchased a young player, usually, they’re more likely to be trusted and introduced to the first team sooner than those who have been in the primavera all along. I’m not saying that every primavera players should be promoted. But sometimes, including them in the first team wouldn’t necessarily hinder the development. Would you be playing better after training with Leao or with another bunch of 18yos?

  4. He has done well, though looks more defensive than offensive.
    If we were going to promote a youth team LB surely that should have been Bozzolan who is a couple of years older. He was the 1st choice primavera LB and he lead the list of assists last year.
    Barteseghi is his replacement in the primavera, being promoted from their younger team

  5. Pioli reflects… that he can actually extend his record of refusing to promote any youth player, before he gets sacked. After all, they are not ready.

      1. Primavera barely made it past relegation last year, if these players are not shining in Primavera against their peers what makes you think that they are ready for Serie A?

        There is a lot of pressure on the youngster especially if they don’t perform very well, it can mess up their confidence and motivation and there’s the risk of burning them …
        Playing in front of thousands of people with lots of noise is a totally different experience and some players have a hard time adjusting to playing in that type of environment.

        1. “Primavera barely made it past relegation last year, if these players are not shining in Primavera against their peers what makes you think that they are ready for Serie A?”


  6. Davide Bartasaghi is good solid and technical can flow from defensive and also attacking threat he should be in the first team. I have watched couple of his matches in preseason he is too Good

  7. Well personally I always not too sure with Pioli.

    If we look back last season, Pioli was a coach that never give trust to young players.

    He can not maximize CDK, or give trust to Adli. And if we look back, Hauge, is prospect young player, that Pioli never trust.

    I think this season, Pioli must change, and must prove that he can bring Milan be a champion, and bring Milan to the Final Champion League. Remember, he have new 8 players, and all of them are good players.

    So, I think this the last season for Pioli. If he fail, next season management must hire a new coach.

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