Milan Chief Scout Pitches France Ahead of Italy for Budding Talents

Milan chief scout Geoffrey Moncada believes the football market in France is relatively more open-minded and driven than the one in Italy, Spain or Germany. Moncada thinks the exposure given to youth players has a lot more added value in a country like France than elsewhere.

Speaking to L’Equipe (via MilanNews) in an exclusive interview, Moncada expressed his opinion and compared the development of players in France to its neighbouring countries.

“In France, clubs have the will to bring out players more than to win youth competitions. A club like Angers directly puts its best young people on the first team. The example of the Gambardella Cup is surprising: it is the cup of the best under 19. Most of the time it is not the top clubs that are represented, while in Italy large clubs must always be present. In the Gambardella Cup they barely show the final, while the Italian Spring championship is broadcast all on TV. There is pressure. Juventus, Milan or Inter must win it, otherwise they are criticized by the press. In this year’s Youth League, Marseille was demolished (D4, L2), but there is no mention of it. We at Milan have not lost even one game (W4, D2) and there have been several articles that said that we had respected the competition and given a beautiful image of Italy”.

Moncada thinks the key factor is the confidence of French players to showcase their skills without succumbing to the pressure.

“I don’t know if French players are more ready than others, but in general they are not afraid. A Spaniard, an Italian or a German is afraid of failing. When I talk to Mike Maignan, he has no pressure, he just plays. It can be our mentality. In Italy, if a young man makes a mistake, it is immediately said that he is not ready and will remain on the bench for a long time. In France, no.”

According to him, the secret lies in investing in the youth sector by giving talents more first-team opportunities.

“I travel a lot and see that the strongest market is the French one. I’m not crazy about the Brazilian one: it’s too expensive and involves adaptation difficulties. In France the market is incredible: in every club there are interesting players. I see that the teams also buy abroad, but this does not work much and therefore then they field the products of their youth sectors.”

France has always been an important market for the Rossoneri, having signed Frenchmen such as Pierre Kalulu, Mike Maignan, Theo Hernandez, and Olivier Giroud, among others in recent seasons.

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