This summer saw significant changes from top to bottom for one of the famous clubs in Italian football AC Milan. A change in ownership, in the club president, yet another change of manager and a small turnover of players and for the first time in a number of years there is fresh optimism among the Rossoneri and their fans. A fantastic run of six games unbeaten under the leadership of new manager Vincenzo Montella has been rounded off with the latest result beating the champions Juventus one nil at the San Siro. This is a young group of players coming through at the San Siro and players are starting to come through the famous youth team at Milan. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma stole the headlines last season when he became the number one for the club at the tender age of 16 and has found himself on the outskirts of the national team, this season looks to be the start of a highly successful career for young midfielder Manuel Locatelli.
The 18 year old centre midfielder got his chance in the first team really due to the unfortunate injury to Riccardo Montolivio but he looks to be taking the chance with both hands and more. The industrious Italian looks to have an abundance of talent to his game none more so than his technique when he is on the ball. Two goals already in the senior Milan side, both decisive goals as well it must be said have shown his strength of character at the big occasions. His winning goal against Juventus was a hit of pure beauty, technically so pure with the outside of the right foot and to beat a goalkeeper in the class of Buffon is a great strike. The Italy under 19 captain has impressed for sure and while watching his impressive skills on the ball, when out of possession he looks again to be heading to the top. His natural leadership is clear to see, consistently talking with players around him guiding them into positions where they should be, covering across to cover full back positions and most impressively especially against Juventus watching him taking up positions in between his central defenders he looked very much at ease playing against the Italian Champions. I have seen the media in Italy comparing him with the likes of Pirlo and Verratti but it is very easy to get a bit carried away.
Obviously Milan will be delighted to be in the current position they are in within the league and while they might just set their sights a little higher this season, they might find that Locatelli could be the player that could prove to be their find of the season. Playing as a three man midfield will be ideal for the young midfielder who would be described as the holding midfielder of the three, but early signs look very promising for the latest player to emerge from the AC Milan youth academy.