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The Promise of Cristante

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I don't often discuss youth, for many reasons but this one looks a bit different!?

Stuart Franklin

To be brutally honest, I don't like youth players. Not in the sense of playing them, as I think there is a place for them in the right circumstances. My biggest issue with youth players is the tremendous amount of hype and pressure piled on relatively unknown and unproven talent. Talent is not an end all. In fact I once had a Coach who contended we are all talented in the privacy of our own training sessions, but true talent comes from those who can take it beyond that level. Why do I say this, well simply because every once and while you get a chance to see talent, and in an even more rare occurrence you see talent that truly transcends the hype.

Cristante simply strikes me as special, in a good way. We have all seen talented wasted and mismanaged, we have all seen talented squandered. But every once and awhile you see talent in a raw and humble for, we saw it to some extent with El Sharaawy and DeSciglio and we can see it again here. Yes, it was in friendly matches, and true he has not proven anything, but the kid has it. So much show that other people, not just me are noticing. In fact Chelsea came calling early in the summer, and in a true testament the usual "fans" who get excited about youth. For example, "the Pato brigade" seemed to not have noticed Cristante, because his talent. The kind you only see on occasion where no one needs to say a word, he is just plain good!

The reason I am deviating from my often dismissal of youth is two fold. The first being that for the first time in LONG TIME this team has real youth with real talent. DeSciglio, El Sharaawy, and Cristante, with many forgetting Balotelli is young, as is Abate and mix in the potential of Niang and Saponara, and things are looking up! But the other point I want to make is in my last twenty or so years as Milan fan, this sort of youth talent only happened once, I leave the rest of this sentence and acknowledgment up to you.


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