Milan has called up Primavera defender Ivan Francesco De Santis for the match against Sassuolo, along with fellow teenager Hachim Mastour.
De Santis, a 17 years old, is one of the first from the Viareggio winning side to get the call up. Of course, Mastour was taken into the squad for a brief stint late last season under then manager Clarence Seedorf. Mastour did train with the first team when he got the call up. However, he has not made his top-flight debut with the Rossoneri.
De Santis will train with the first team ahead of the first fixture for Milan in 2015, which is a breath of fresh air. As of late, Milan has been all talk, no action when it comes to finding a way to implement the youth talent into top tier football. We’ve heard many times about this apparent “youth movement,” however very few players from the promising crop of talent have been able to obtain minutes. De Sciglio has been the most recent academy player to climb the ranks and secure a starting role with Milan. Cristante appeared to be next, a staple in the midfield for years to come. However, a fallout with management and lack of commitment to building from within led to the outright sale of Bryan Cristante to Benifica this past summer for a fee of around €6M.
Ivan De Santis featured for Italy in the U-17 World Cup and he was a standout performer, alongside fellow countryman and Milan Primavera defender Luca Iotti. De Santis plays a position that has been suspect for Milan since the departure of Thiago Silva and Alessandro Nesta.
At age 17, De Santis is very much a raw talent but also a player that possesses strong ability in a position starved of quality. Along with Mastour, De Santis is one of the first to get the nod from Inzaghi, who managed the successful Viareggio winning squad and we hope this is the first of many to come to finally feature for Milan rather than being sold before maturity like Cristante was.