Simic reveals details on relationship with Pioli, working with Abate and who his ‘mentor’ is

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan defender Jan-Carlo Simic has praised Stefano Pioli for the role he played in his development, as well as Primavera head coach Ignazio Abate.

Simic was probably expecting to spend the 2023-24 season entirely with the Primavera or perhaps out on loan somewhere, and yet he has Serie A minutes and even his first senior goal to his name.

That is largely because of the defensive injury crisis that Milan suffered towards the end of last year, but the centre-back – who was recently called up by the Serbian senior national team for the first time – responded well when called upon.

Simic scored against Monza in December and the emotions of his parents – who were sat near the corner at San Siro – was evident as they were pictured in tears after seeing their son score. After the game, Simic stated he would give his first ever Serie A shirt to them.

The defender spoke to Milan TV during the episode of the ‘Homegrown’ series about how well he has managed to integrate across the two teams plus the relationship he has with his team-mates and coaches.

What is it like playing under Abate?

“A bate is number one, he showed me how to play football here in Italy, he is the one who prepared me for the big step towards the first team. Thanks to him I was ready to play in Serie A.”

And Pioli?

“I also have a wonderful relationship with Pioli, he has more experience in Serie A and tries to improve me on details. I will always be grateful to him for having trusted me when my time came, I will not forget it for the rest of my life.”

What are the dressing rooms like in the Primavera and first team?

“In the Primavera I’m friends with everyone, we often go out and have fun together. In the first team it’s the same, in particular I get along well with Thiaw with whom I speak a lot in German, Kjaer is my mentor in my role while Jovic sees me as a little brother.”


Tags AC Milan Jan-Carlo Simic


  1. So Pau Cubarsi, central defender of Barcelona was named MOTM last night in CL match against Napoli. He’s 17 years old and had to go to school this morning. And Milan are here looking for a cheap moneyball buy from France or Belgium instead of putting faith in our own talent.

    1. True. To be fair Barca been known to put these kids out there early and some sink, some float. Isn’t Yamal also like 16 or 17. That dude is insane for his age. And he hasn’t grown full muscles and speed yet. That’s scary.
      My problem with Moncada is that he got in over his head (similar to Pioli). When asked in an interview his best scouting work, he says ppl like Fabinho and Martial among others who he signed way before they burs to the scene lol. These were very low cost signings. My thing is why isn’t Moncada doing the same for us…ie looking to get the next Fabinho, which btw we could really do with a DM. Instead, he’s picking up the 20m players (with mixed results) and going beyond unearthing the next big thing when really that’s what I thought we hired him for.

      1. The things is that playing for Milan and Monaco is 2 different expectations, Monaco historically has nurtured and played youth team, hardly play for trophies. Playing for Milan means pressure for the coach and players, you were expected to play to win every game. Barcelona youth team have the same system as the senior side making it easy for youngsters to thrive.

        1. Facts!
          It’s why I don’t think we can truly have those ” develop young ” approaches. We had it coming out of banter era and because we were poor in all aspects at the time. Players were able to develop quietly but now that we’re back to winning…it’s back to the old expectations. I guess Moncada does have to buy a more ready player and shell out the 20m but so far it’s been mixed. I’d also like them to have a bit more patience

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