Sky: Daniel Maldini to join Monza – Milan cut Empoli loan short

By Ben Dixon -

AC Milan will recall Daniel Maldini from his underwhelming loan spell at Empoli early to send him to Monza until the end of the 2023-24 season. 

Sky (via MilanNews) have reported that Daniel Maldini’s loan spell at Empoli will be cut short, given it has not been a positive spell for the youngster. The Azzurri sit 19th in Serie A, with only three wins all season. Above all, though, Maldini has not featured nearly enough, playing seven games, starting just three times.

As a result, the Rossoneri have exercised their ability to recall him in January, and tomorrow, January 10, he will join Raffaele Palladino’s Monza, with the medical and signing already scheduled. He will join Lorenzo Colombo, who is currently on loan at the club.

There is the possibility that Colombo could become part of a Milan-owned trio this month, given Palladino’s side have expressed an interest in signing highly-rated full-back Davide Bartesaghi on loan, as well.

Tags AC Milan Daniel Maldini Monza


  1. Good move by management and by Maldini. He needed to get more minutes to develop. He’s at a crucial junction in his career. Hope he gets more time at Monza

      1. What’s the logic here? Few months? It’s half a year and if there isnt any space you move where there is space for you. Especially when you need playing time to continue developing.

        What’s brilliant plan do you have that would be better for him? Rot on the bench?

        1. These are supposed to be elite athletes!

          Maldini was supposed to be the best player from that generation of primavera players. He’s already played and scored in Serie A for Milan.

          So why exactly has it not worked out?

          That is the question we should be asking.

          We should stop just accepting failure.

          1. I don’t think Daniel Maldini is that good. I think he was at Milan for the sake of his last name rather than for the sake of footballing skills. Yes, he is young and could develop more, but he just doesn’t look like he will. Well, good luck to him, hopefully he will get more opportunities at Monza.

      2. Don’t you think Daniel had a say in this? Don’t you think he’s eager to go somewhere where he’ll get minutes? This move doesn’t happen unless he agrees.

        1. I’m sure his agent had a big say!

          But he and everyone is caught up in the transfer merry-go-round.

          This is not about one player, one transfer but a whole system that is simply not working.

          Why do we limit football to a 11-a-sde and outfield players to only using their feet?

          Why are the practically no limitations (other than stupid transfer windows which seem to just create more chaos and with a false sense of certainty) on transfers?

          I actually would we better off getting rid of transfer windows altogether so that we normalise transfers and stop these ridiculous feeding frenzies every few months.

      3. As a bar employee if your at a job where you are not getting hours you leave and go to another bar.

        At this point he needs live game time to develop. Clearly if it was only about training he’d be better off at Milanelli.

        That said I don’t get why Milan would put him in direct competition for minutes with Colombo. What am I missing?

        1. But they’re not bad workers. They’re elite athletes.

          What you’re missing is there is zero thought put into these loans. It’s not about the player’s development it’s just about the conveyor belt of transfers.

          Cattle are treated better than this.

          1. Zero thought? Unlike you put all your little brainwork to these and analyze and digest all the FACTS to all the inferior idiots who visit this site?

            Come on, you think you are the only one who understands anything about anything? All you do is criticize and b*tch about everything. Yes, for sure, everyone in Milan is an idiot and especially the management. They don’t know ANYTHING. Unlike you. They should hire you ASAP. Then you could explain them why these loans are bad. You should call Infantino and persuade UEFA to cancel the transfer windows too. I’m 100% sure they would do that if YOU asked. After all, you are the only one who understands anything.

          2. FFS, this site needs a “block”-function. So tired of reading the constant b*tching, whining and acting-superior of Maldini’s Hair (did I get it right?). No wonder people have criticized Maldini himself on this site as they have started to associate the name with this compaining, b*tching idiot. You’re ruining his name!!!

      4. @Maldinis Heir ummm ever heard of a temp assignment or secondment??? I literally did a rotatinal for 2 years, change every 6 months to acquire skills and knowledge as well as hands on experience. Btw that’s how most youth players develop, smaller teams where the chance of getting playing time is higher.
        Btw why would u stay in the same job if the boss isn’t picking you to do the job u came in for? AND YOU had the opportunity to change that outcome? You’re going to be just stay in the hopes he magically changes his mind or something? Dude needs to develop and get minutes under his belt and you want him to rot on the bench only because he’s an elite athlete. Guess what buddy? They all are! Some are either better than others in quality or they work for the system the coach plays. Many professional football players don’t make it into teams because they’re not suited to the coach’s style. not because they’re not good enough. Check out ‘become elite’ channel on YouTube when u get the chance. He was literally perfect for a team, but the coach said his style was not the way he wanted to play. Give your head a shake
        Your example of bar workers is so far off the mark. How you going to learn to do the fancy mixed drinks for customers if you get no shifts??? All your skills would just be training at home amongst friends , not the real job. So in some sense u literally had a great analogy 😂

        1. I went on secondments but that is very different to the loan system in football which seems to be more about moving the problem on.

          Plus football comes down to seconds. Player familiarity and repetitive motions are absolutely essential to compete at this level. We can’t have people changing clubs every few months.

          The fact of the matter is that in the past 10 years the only Primavera players to make it at Milan never went on loan – Donnarumma, De Sciglio and Calabria.

          If these players aren’t getting game time it’s because the squads are too big and we have too many transfers crowding out existing players (who are then moved on ).

          Again most employers don’t just keep hiring more and more new employees to crowd out existing employees.

          How can we accept this level of failure?

          I can bet you a fiver that Maldini will be playing in Serie B or C in the next few seasons along with the rest.

          But you and the rest take time out of your day to defend the transfer system…

          1. I dont waste my blood pressure on this.
            You didn’t answer the question on how can one get better at their job without actual experience on the job and you had an opportunity to change that?

            Big teams like Milan have a bigger gap in quality between the Primavera and first team players so it’s less likely for a young player to get playing time. The smaller teams have a smaller budget and rely on young players who receive playing time (it is why I say for young players eg Camarda to go elsewhere to get playing time to develop). Or as someone else pointed out, there’s a culture within the club to play youths. That’s just how it was and forever will be. I don’t see what your point is. Are you upset at the ever existing landscape that had characterized football in forever??? Not everyone makes it in football. We have 20 teams in top flight and assuming 20 youth players in each Primavera, that’s 400 players churned out each year for 220 (20×11) spots assuming no purchases from outside. Spots which YOU don’t want changed each year.
            Paradoxically the same thing you’re arguing for exactly puts the youth system in trouble. You want the same players playing together for an extremely long time right?!……sooooo what happens to youth players each year then? Answer that. These are elite professional athletes no? Where are they going to get game time if we want the same CB pairing for instance game in game out? Why do u think no one came through our youth system as a centre back for 25 years? Because Maldini was playing. They had to be better than him to take his spot and they weren’t. What exactly do u want to do, abandon the youth system because you’ve found your lineup that can last for 10 years? You don’t make sense at all. The system is a churn, sink or swim. It’s how it is. Why don’t u cry for the 180 players minimum each year that will guarantee to not have a spot. And that’s not a 2024 issue, it’s been here forever. Mathematically, by basic logic you can’t prevent it. The best usually rise to the top. Of our 20 Primavera players, one or two tops MIGHT make it. Not only us, all other big teams and even smaller teams.

  2. You should mention that he has been injured for a long time, and that is part of the reason that he has not played much. Since he’s been back from injury, he has played fairly much.

  3. They need to introduce a rule requiring loans to be a minimum of 12-24 months (I’d prefer the latter).

    These are supposed to be elite athletes not casual bar workers going from job to job.

    In what other sport do players move every few months?

    What other sport even has loans?

    1. I do not agree with you here.

      Remember that the loan was initially struck while Zanetti was coach. He got sacked and Andreazzoli is much more conservative.

      This is a pretty regular occurrence for a loanee as young players are generally being loaned to relegation threatened sides. Plans get changed.

      Maldini needs playing time not to sit on the bench because Andreazzoli won’t play him and Baldanzi together. Empoli is always going to preference its own player as it should.

      Monza tend to play 2-1 with 2 attacking AMs as opposed to a flat front 3. This really suits Maldini as does the reality that Colpani and Carboni are left footers (Pessina is playing B2B). In a weird way Maldini has less competition than he does at Empoli even though Monza is a much better side.

      I’m a big believe in Maldini’s talent. I think he can pretty quickly establish himself as the left sided (I.e. LW / LAM) part of Monza’s attacking trident.

      This is a good move. Forcing Maldini to stay at Empoli likely ruins another season. Players need flexibility while on loan for their own good.

        1. LOL. Almost forgot that guy existed. Apparently he’s at Lorient now, second from bottom in Ligue 1, and having made a whopping 6 appearances. Just retire already bro!

      1. “This is a pretty regular occurrence for a loanee”


        And that is why the vast majority of loans (and indeed transfers) don’t work out.

        The only players to have become established in the Milan side this decade never went on loan – none of Donnarumma, De Sciglio, or Calabria went on loan.

        If you are a believer in Maldini’s talent then you will be left to wonder when he ends up playing in Serie B or C in a few year’s time. And that will be because of these casual loans.

        Forcing clubs to commit to longer term loans forces clubs to take loans seriously.

        In addition to these requirements I would also like to see:
        – transfers limited to 3 per club in the summer and 1 in the winter;
        – squads limited to 25;
        – match day squads reduced to 18;
        – substitutions brought back to 3 per game; and
        – loans further restricted to one per career.

        That is the only we stop the constant churn that is destroying football.

        Office workers would struggle with this level of instability, so how can we expect elite athletes, the top 0.00000001% of footballers on the planet, playing in the top 1% of leagues, where games and careers come down to split second incidents, to keep changing clubs every few months.

        It’s ludicrous.

          1. Not whilst fans accept and demand transfers.

            Most of the abuse on get on here is from people who are triggered when I criticise the transfer system.

            People seem to care more about transfers than actual football.

          2. “Most of the abuse on get on here is from people who are triggered when I criticise the transfer system.”

            No. People are triggered because 100% of your posts are b*itching and whining. And acting all superior to everyone. That is RREEEEEEEEEAAAALLY exhausting.

        1. I regularly bring in contractors to my office teams to accomplish specific tasks. Often these are toil that needs doing in service of a larger objective. 3-6 months is a typical engagement. Occasionally I’ll even offer to “buy” one (hire full time)

          The permanent office team benefits from honing the skill of scoping work, onboarding new people, adapting processes and the like. Contractors generally report they enjoyed the experience

          Like anything if the objective is known and a plan is put in place for all parties to benefit then it’s a good thing.

          Your use of the word “casual” is key. Seems we need to keep an eye on loaning because it papers over a problem.

          1. It’s different contractors.

            We use contractors as well but these players are the key workers/assets/entire future for clubs.

            Plus in an office job people can take their time to get to know each other and the job. These are footballers that are going to be thrown into top level matches.

            Do any other sports have loans?

            American Football, basketball, hockey, baseball, one of the rugby codes???

            I can’t think of another sport that even has loans (let alone the number of transfers we have in football).

        2. I reckon you’re making the mistake of developing policy based on the failure of Milan to integrate its youth players into its senior team rather than the based on the actual development of players. Whether the player ends up at Milan is not relevant to whether he has been developed as a good player. Developing quality players is the first priority.

          Milan’s issue with the use of its own academy players is a philosophical / cultural issue, widespread in the game, more than it is an issue with the methods for developing players.

          Everyone from club presidents to fans, particularly of the bigger teams, equate progress with signing players. They are all focused on short term results despite the reality that sustained success is almost always built for the long term over the long term. This is the main barrier for the progression of young players. Impatient clubs are signing players which shut the developing players out of a spot in a squad while he is developing. You can disincentivise this attitude but there needs to be a cultural shift. Hopefully abolition of the Growth Decree will force this change.

          The key issue is getting young players minutes of senior playing time. Young players need a minimum of 1,500 to 3,000 minutes per season to develop properly. I base this number on the way Juventus progresses players from U19 to U23 to the first loan and observations from checking the careers of dozens of players. I don’t really see how your solutions help youth players unless you require squads to be 75% youth academy players – something like that.

          Not everyone is cut out for Serie A initially. The pathway for an 18-19 year old should probably be the Serie B or even Serie C – it’s not just the Juve and Atalanta U23 sides that are producing players. Cambiasso was a Serie D player not so long ago. The Serie A is too high a standard for most. It is unrealistic to think that in any given year sides are giving 1,500 to 3,000 minutes of game time to 3 to 5 youth players produced every season, unless they are forced to play a high quota of their own academy products.

          It also seems that your issue with loans relates to more historical dealings, than what is currently happening.

          I want to apply your rules to current situations at Milan. Let’s start with a comparison of the careers of Maldini and Colombo. It is my firmly held belief that Maldini has many more strings to his bow that lend themselves to being a high quality player than Colombo. He’ll end up playing AM, LW, RW, SS and #8. Colombo is a #9 who plays most as a false 9 with some decent tricks. Maldini is a talent worthy of the #10 for Milan and Italy. Colombo will likely forge a solid career as a mid-tier Serie A striker.

          To anyone who thinks my estimation of Maldini’s talent is ridiculous, why is it that Maldini is the only player we refused to loan during his crucial formative professional years? Before anyone alleges conspiracy against Paolo, do you think Paolo would blow-up his own son’s career just to keep him around? He doesn’t pick the side. And by the way, what was Paolo doing as a 18 to 20 year old? He was playing week in and week out.

          Daniel Maldini was born in 2001 and Colombo was born in 2002. In Maldini’s first 2 seasons out of the academy he played 292 minutes as a 19 year old in 2020/2021 and 239 minutes as a 20 year old watching a Scudetto from the bench. Let’s round that up to 6 games worth of match play, that’s SIX games, in his first 2 years out of the academy. That’s what he got for staying at Milan. He has since gone out on 2 unproductive loans, unproductive largely due to injury. He had a run of good form for Spezia in the 3rd quarter of last season before injury hit again. He has had injury problems again at Empoli and also has the issue of a coaching change (and departure of the young coach who has been good at developing young players). Is it really better for Maldini to stay at Empoli than it is for him to move to Monza? In my earlier post I explained why Monza is a very good fit for him and why indications are that Empoli will be an issue as long as Andreazzoli is coaching (which is not to say that a further change will help Maldini).

          Contrast this with Colombo’s experience. In 2021/2022, his 19th year and first year out of the academy, he play 2,160 minutes for SPAL across 35 appearances at Serie B level. In 2022/2023, his 20th year and second year out of the academy, he played 1,568 minutes for Lecce at Serie A level across 34 appearances. Colombo is now currently on his third loan and has played 1,102 across 17 Serie A appearances for Monza.

          So halfway through their 3rd seasons out of the academy, Colombo has played 4,420 minutes compared to Maldini’s 760. That’s 50 full games vs 8.5. Maldini has a current valuation of EU3m on Transfermarkt compared with EU7m for Colombo.

          Now look at Marco Brescianini’s career progression. He is a very average player currently on his fourth loan. During his formative years he played more than 4,000 minutes of Serie B (that’s during the time Maldini was warming the bench for Milan and then injured at Spezia). He has now played 840 minutes of Serie A matches for Frosinone, more minutes than Maldini’s entire senior career. It is much the same story with Pobega. Even Marco Nasti, in his first season out of the academy, already has 1,441 minutes across 19 Serie B level appearances for Bari.

          This type of progression is similar to what you will see in the careers of Soule, Fagioli and others from the U23 systems at Juventus and Atalanta. Why would you force Colombo’s first and only loan to be SPAL? He either has to take the Serie B minutes or wait? Why does Lecce take Colombo on loan if he doesn’t have the Serie B experience? The loans have been immensely beneficial for Clombo’s development, so much so that he multiple clubs are now linked to signing him. Yes, it may well be the case that he does not end up playing for Milan but that it not a failure of development, it is the result of the philosophical / cultural issue that I referred to above. Even now that Jovic is hitting the back of the net is that really a job that was beyond Colombo? We do know that Jovic is now firming as the #2 for next season which basically ends Colombo’s Milan career. It ends his Milan career because he will take minutes on offer more than playing a handful of games to warm the bench at Milan.

          I would like to see loaning that appears to me to be more methodical and systematic. What I think would be money better spent than on an U23 Serie C side would be to foster relationships with local clubs such as Monza (Serie A) and Lecco, Como, Brescia and even Cremonese (all Serie B) to turn them into feeder clubs. Pay them per 500 or 1,000 minutes played by the loaned player. Create an incentive to give the player the minutes he needs. Pay his salary. I would grade payments based on the quality of the player. There is a time in the near future I would spend 1m to fast track the development of Camarda, as the most obvious example. It makes sense to me to keep it local because we must have all sorts of connections to facilitate the loans to what are essentially local areas.

          What I think you will find is that maybe 5 or 6 players aside, the simply reality for may of the youth products produced by Milan is that they are just not good enough. The level of talent now seems to me to be much higher, which is consistent with the emphasis on the academy which has been placed in the last 3 to 4 seasons.

          1. This isn’t just a problem for Milan and it’s not just about loans.

            The top 5 leagues alone (just 98 teams) generate thousands of transfers each transfer window. They’re literally averaging hundreds of transfers per club.

            There’s no big conspiracy. It’s for the reasons you’ve said.

            Serie A is one of the worst leagues with thousands of transfers each window. Spain and Germany are better.

            This is why my proposals are to restrict the number of transfers and squad sizes because it will force teams to focus.

            And by limiting loans it stops clubs hoarding players and lets the players go free.

            The current system simply doesn’t work.

            Maldini and Colombo (and the rest) will never end up playing in Serie A. They’ve already lost precious time faffing about on loan at different clubs.

            Bartesaghi is being buried under 3-4 players and now possibly loaned half through the season. He’s probably finished too now.

        3. Yeah, I agreed with AR that your format will not work. At least not in today’s football context. Your format is in fact nostalgic, dated and opposite of what the major football bodies like FIFA or UEFA are planning to do. They want more matches, more game time, more bankable players (assets) to generate more viewership, more sponsorship and hence more money for them. Limiting transfers is something these bodies will never do. If any kinds of limits they want or can do, they should continue their attempt to limit agents’ commissions. But even for this, FIFA suspended all limitations as soon as they face legal threats from these agents. This is not just a Milan or Serie A thing. It is a world thing. Perhaps for your format, in some resemblance, to work, we need another league to run in parallel with those of FIFA/UEFA … such as the Super League. This could at least ensure no one monopolizes the game and forces players to play 70-80 games in a season.

          1. a) More games will be a disaster. Football is already losing fans. After the collapse of the Super League Agnelli said fans no longer follow football clubs they follow players. I can understand that. If things get too bad I might just start supporting Patrick Cutrone!

            More games = Saturation.

            b) Just because FIFA and UEFA and the powers that be are pushing this doesn’t mean fans need to accept it – both in football generally and at their clubs. The most successful clubs will be the ones who can show restraint and take a strategic approach. That is what fans should be demanding of their clubs.

    1. Exactly. He doesn’t look like someone who will develop into a very good player. I think he is quite mediocre (slow and uncreative) and was only with Milan thanks to his last name. I feel sorry for him and wish him well, but I don’t think he is Milan material, so, hopefully he will go to Monza, be decent there, and be purchased by Monza at the end of the loan.

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