Scout Report - Hachim Mastour, Christian Maldini, Andrea Petagna and the fountain of youth at AC Milan
AC Milan – The Fountain Of Youth
“All good things come to an end” and so it has as Milan bid farewell to their captain Ambrosini who was the only surviving member of the Champions league winning team of 2007. It is indeed an end of an era for the Rossoneri as the club has now decided to concentrate on youth and start a new cycle.
The last 2-3 seasons have been heart wrenching for Milan as each season ends with one of their veterans leaving for “other challenges” or retiring. Last season, There were moving scenes at the San Siro where the atmosphere of the crowd, and the rare tears from the players hit the fans hard as some succumbed to their emotions for their honorable servants.
Throughout recent history Milan have always valued experience and this has been the reason for their dominance in Europe. Between 1989 and 1995, Milan appeared in five European Cup finals. Between 2003 and 2007, there would be three more.
With the new project in full motion, lets check out some hot prospects, the players who will carry the legacy forward.
The 18-year-old has immense talent and On 4 March 2013, Milan Cristante signed his first professional contract, which will keep him at Milan until 2018 after progressing through the ranks at the Serie A giants.
Cristante made his first-team debut for Milan as a substitute for Brazil star Robinho in the Champions League tie against Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic in December 2011. He also became the youngest player to feature in the Champions League for Milan at the age of 16 years and 278 days and the third youngest over all.
Cristante is no stranger to winning titles with the Rossoneri, despite his tender years. He scored eight times in the Under-15 squad win the Campionato Giovanissimi Nazionali in 2010 and followed that up with the Campionato Allievi Nazionali title a year later.
The midfielder possesses tremendous technique and strength and is known for his passing ability which has impressed Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri and his backroom staff.
Cristante works best in the midfield channels and has played in front of the defence before too. His ability from set pieces is also an asset. His skills best align with that of a deep-lying playmaker and bringing along a player with his potential and skill set could give Milan another dimension off the bench that they didn’t really have last season.
Another promising youngster, Petagna too like Cristante signed a contract with Milan and is loaned out to Sampdoria for the rest of the season.
Petagna is not a complete virgin to First team action, having made an appearance on 4 December 2012 in the Champions League group stage home game against Zenit St.Petersburg which Milan lost 0–1.
Not only is he physically well built, he also possesses excellent technical skills. Quite like his idols Ibrahimovic and Balotelli, both of who, he fortunately had a chance to train with.