Tuttosport: Italian football suffering a ‘brain drain’ – why Milan are bucking the trend

By Oliver Fisher -

Italy’s round of 16 exit at the European Championship has once again re-opened questions about the talent in Serie A and the development of players, but AC Milan are bucking a trend.

As has been reported by Tuttosport (via MilanNews), Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen have secured three of the most interesting and promising Italian talents currently in circulation, namely Delle Rovere, Pià and Natali.

The paper refers to it as a ‘brain drain’ but one that Milan have no intention of taking part it or falling victim to, given that the young players around Milanello are pampered and protected, as will be confirmed shortly with the various official announcements scheduled for the coming weeks.

It goes without saying that the most eagerly awaited official announcement is that of Francesco Camarda, rewarded by the club for the excellent progress shown in recent years with his first professional contract .

The young striker is however only the latest piece in a long phase of negotiations that have seen talents of the calibre of Kevin Zeroli and Davide Bartesaghi play in the first team, while Diego Sia and Emanuele Sala signed long-term deals too.

The investments made in the youth sector are therefore bearing fruit, and the €5m paid out in recent weeks to sign Alex Jimenez on a permanent deal from Real Madrid is a further symbol of the investment in youth.

Milan believe a lot in its young players and the birth of the Milan Futuro project proves it, the U23 team that will play in Group B of Serie C from next season. With this new team, the Rossoneri have only one objective: to get talented players ready for the first team.

There is confidence inside the walls of Casa Milan that the club can be leaders in the development of Italian youth, especially after poaching Vincenzo Vergine from Roma a year ago.

Tags AC Milan Davide Bartesaghi Diego Sia Emanuele Sala Francesco Camarda Kevin Zeroli


  1. there should be a regulation that stop the hike of players price within the league buongiorno, calafiori, Lucca, and the likes are all overpriced

    1. Premier league teams cause the hikes. Look at the sale of Hojlund or Beto for example players who have been sold 1.5 times there value. Serie a teams don’t have the money to spend that much and the only option now is to produce talents themselves. Really excited to see zeroli, liberali, and Camarda in the future. Has been a long time since Milan produced a great talent.

    2. A regulation to increase the difference between top clubs/corporations/brands and other clubs? I guess you would never say something like this if you were a fan of Torino or Bologna.

    3. i dont know why but as per transfermarket, price for italian league player are very hard to increase compare to EPL.. just 6 month EPL player from youth, from 4-5m become 30+m in 6 month and yet tomori, already establish player in seria A, a league champion with milan, champion league experience still not archived 50m..even Bungiorno still 45m

  2. Brain drain is a symptom of deeper problems, and not cause of the problems. But as always, the problem is exaggerated.

    1. it’s not a brain drain.. these kids will eventually play for italy. It would be true brain drain if they were to stay in say Germany and end up playing for the German national team. If anything this is good for italian natiional team. (not so for clubs). By that same logic, there is a ton of brain drain in argentina, uruguay, brazil, colombia, chile, Nigeria, Cameroon and basically every non european country.
      Looks like as always, italian clubs arent risk takers and dont play their young players while other countries seem to thrive on it.

  3. This does not take away the fact about what these bankers are targeting for the time being – pumping resell value and capital gains.

    We are now a selling club and it can happen the likes of City, PSG, Real will come lurking in a season or two for the likes of Camarda should he continue with his showing. And they’re not shy of splashing for proper talent even at the age of 16 or 17 as we’ve seen in cases of Vinicius and Rodrygo.

    We’ve groomed Diaz and now we’ll do same with Jimenez.

    So no, this does not give me confidence.

    1. I agree plenty. All the news we got since the season ended are about the U23 team. It’s like they forgot that there is a senior team playing UCL. And since reports state that Milan is now “forced to sell” when “the right offer” arrives, which seems to be any offer anyway considering that they didn’t even negotiate for Tonali last year, this is a feeder club.

    2. “This does not take away the fact about what these bankers are targeting for the time being – pumping resell value and capital gains.”

      If you repeat a lie a thousand times, it’s still a lie. One player was sold, 10 were signed, over €100 million spent. That’s not an example of capital gains nor, of course, did this regime sign Tonali so you entire argument falls down.

      1. The value is not in the players man. Jerry bought a company (that is already sustainable by itself) for 1.2B and will resell it in a few years for maybe twice that, maybe even more.

        Keeping the budget clean (sustainable), building a stadium (with the budget of the club), creating a U23 team (with the budget of the club) or increasing the commercial value of the brand (in the US for example) will increase the price of the company. All of that without spending any of his own money. This is why Redsh!t bought a football club, not because Jerry suddenly is a fan of Milan.

    3. It’s been a while but your garbage takes are back. What do you mean now Milan are a selling club? I’m fully convinced you just started paying attention a few years ago when Elliot took over. We’ve been a selling club since Burlesconi sold Zaltan and Silva. And even more so after the settlement agreement. You’re a propagandist who always spins every article into banker this Gerry that. Jesus Christ man if it’s not some dig at management you got nothing to say….

      Kids this is what a s…head fan looks like 🤣

      1. Do I really need to go into why we sold Ibra and Silva? At least back then we knew we were broke because of mismanagement and Silvio’s political downfall.

        But now? With all this braging on how clean our accounts are, how much money we have, there’s no need to sell, yet it doesn’t take away the fact there’s a pricetag on everyone and no one is safe. Across the street, our poor and broke neighbours who are on the verge of bankrupcy (been hearing this for years now) just extended their two prized assets, offering them what Theo and Mike are asking. And all we hear is, how difficult it will be and how the parties are far from agreement on extentions etc etc. Your choice if you support that I won’t call your opinion out, I never did. And I never called you names like you do. But that’s between you and your weak character to settle.

        And I’m glad you you’re still my subscriber and do stay tuned in, there’s more where that came from;)

  4. The owners are doing the right thing. Currently, Italian players are overrated and overpriced. Milan should never give into that type of taxation from other Serie A teams.

    Milan should only have Italian players in the squad that they have developed themselves, and we have a few on their way already who can make a difference. The U23 is gonna be very important in this as well

    1. I See the ukrainians overrated
      Mudryk 100 mio Euros— What Are the dreams tonight? Sudorow 70 mio the same way

  5. This all comes down to incentives for teams to invest in young Italian talent as well as bringing in kids that could wind up having dual citizenship.

    The FIGC and the federal and local governments are the problem with an antiquated process. Unfortunately the way they did it before will not be the way that will win again.

    It is ensuing each team owns their own stadium (if governments needs to help with a subsidized loan, so be it).

    It is allowing rules to promote more youth teams for each club. Having bridge clubs instead of the crappy loan system. Keep loans but in conjunction.

    Having discounts/tax breaks for youth players/contracts.

    Tax breaks for clubs that have xyz number of youth players playing in their system.

    A system like Germany, the first team use include 12 licensed Germans, 8 players trained in country and 4 by the club.

    It’s all about taking less money from the clubs and ensuring they invest it into their youth sector.

    The Italians are SOOOOOOOOO far behind.

    1. It’s just a different culture than America man. It’s not just Italy, it’s all over Europe. England have that insane TV rights deal that is unique and allows them to spend stupid amounts of money.

      Taxpayers in Europe would be crazy if their government would spend billions to build football stadiums when there is no money for hospitals and schools while the costs of living are decreasing. It would take decades for most clubs to repay these loans considering their budget. Just understand that Italians these days really don’t care if their team is eliminated at the Euro, there are bigger priorities in our modern societies than having a good generation for the national team in football.

      1. I wanted to say I have loved every time I’ve visited your country. Except Naples. Holy big dirty city with trash everywhere!

        You are absolutely right about the mentality of the government spending money on football. Maybe the FIGC could enact rules with the national tram in mind like Germany?

        1. I’m from France haha but I do hope you’ve been in France if you went to Italy as it’s close 😉 French football is a catastrophe and clubs are always begging for public money after spending like maniacs.

          I’ve been in Madison, WI to watch the Badgers in college football. Incredible! And beautiful State.

          As for Italian football, some Serie A presidents are gathering after the national team elimination to find solutions. Milan is not involved. Let’s see what they can find but the resources are limited as I said.

      2. In Napoli the Fans said it ist better to be poor with Maradona than without ihm! This is aber Not the Reality in europe

  6. Are Milan bucking a trend? Italy has a huge reluctance, in the big clubs at least, to give young talent sustained opportunities. Prove it on loan in Serie C or no-one is listening. Or buy in from one of the few teams that does give those chances.

    Maybe the academies aren’t good enough, but whatever the reason, if I were a young Italian player, there’d be a more obvious route to a first team if I moved to Spain or Germany. A Zeroli or Camarda would surely find more opportunities there. Hopefully the U23 idea changes that attitude a bit.

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