Milanello Special: An Inside Look at Mattia De Sciglio
Among several potential names who have been raved by Milanisti, one that has been catching majority of people's affection is Mattia De Sciglio.
The 19-year-old talent was first discovered by Milan's scout at the tender age of 10, while still playing for his local club, Cimiano. The teenager joined Rossoneri's youth setup in 2002 and spent his who junior years with the Red and Black squad before eventually breaking into the first team back in 2011-2012 season. His success in catching Massimiliano Allegri's eyes was rather surprising for some, as they were predicting other popular youngsters such as Marco Ezio Fossati, Simone Calvano or Simone Verdi who will be getting the shot.
However, along with Mattia Valoti, De Sciglio spent most of his 2011-2012 season training with the first team squad, alternating with the Primavera in some occasions, before finding some playing time by the end of that season. Debuting first as a substitute in Milan's Champions League tie against Viktoria Plzen, it wasn't until the Milan Derby where he eventually caught the affection of many Milanisti, with his confident performance despite coming as a surprise substitute, replacing the injured Daniele Bonera.
Stepping back couple of years, during his Primavera days under Giovanni Stroppa, De Sciglio was not actually known as the club's main full back as he was being played in many different roles, especially in midfield as a Mezza'lla destra (right sided midfield player). However, in some occasions he was still given the chance to play in his current position, but due to some tactical reasons, Stroppa seems much more confident in using the 19-year-old as a midfielder.
In the youth national team setup, De Sciglio also received pretty consistent call ups, due to his versatility in playing different roles. He was even used as a center back during one of young Azzurri matches. Apparently, his ability to play in different position is what first attracted Allegri in testing him up for training with the first team, which eventually becomes the teenager's stepping stone in breaking into the first team setup.
De Sciglio's calm and quite attitude also becomes one the player's main traits that simply makes him pretty likable by his teammates, who tried to help him a lot during his first break out season with the senior squad. Not being placed in the spot light with several others hyped youngsters, the 19-year-old calmly earn the trust of many important people in Milanello, including former Rossoneri's legendary right back, Mauro Tassotti, who puts plenty of faith on his young padawan.
The injury that hit Ignazio Abate early in the season gave De Sciglio opportunities to step in as his senior replacement and the youngster didn't disappoint at all. Although some naive defending was still visible from young Mattia, but his composure on the ball along with exciting technical qualities when driving forward simply put his name among the lime light of Serie A's brightest young talents.
His talent also catch the eyes of Italian Senior team tactician, Cesare Prandelli, who called up De Sciglio for a friendly fixture against England not long ago. Although he didn't get a chance to play, but it's pretty much a testament on his potential, which is strongly recognized by many football experts in Serie A. Without having any Serie B or any other lower leagues experience, the full back's ability to gain playing time for Milan's first team should definitely receive some praises, as not many youngsters can achieve it.
Rejecting any comparison with Paolo Maldini, De Sciglio simply isn't making that tag easily flying over his shoulder, especially since he revealed about his willingness to regularly play as a left back should the coach decide so. Admittedly the 19-year-old stated that his footballing career is still at beginning stage, but with his current progress, attitude and a bit of luck, it won't be much of a surprise should he managed to regularly claim a starting spot on Milan's first eleven.
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