The AC Milan boss has stressed the importance of patience with the club’s rising stars after Cristante shone on his full debut, but says fans should expect troughs as well as peaksMassimiliano Allegri wants the club’s youngsters to be given time after 18 year-old Bryan Cristante impressed on his first league start for AC Milan.
Cristante scored Milan’s third in a 3-0 win over Atalanta on Monday, as Kaka scored his 100th and 101st goals earlier in the game.
“I had already considered Cristante for the derby and the game against Roma. Let’s not forget he is very young, as he’s only 18,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.
“Cristante has improved a great deal over the last two months, I put my faith in him and in moments of difficulty the younger players can bring that extra sense of joy to their football.”
However, Allegri wants Cristante to avoid the hype that was previously focused on Milan starlets M’Baye Niang and Gabriel.
“Cristante is a young player who must be given time to grow without pressure. Obviously at Milan you have to grow up quicker," said the Milan coach.
"Last season Niang was treated by some like a phenomenon, but he’s just a teenager, so there are bound to be peaks and troughs.
"The same is true of Gabriel, as after one game the media said Milan had found their goalkeeper for the next 15 years, then a week later he was considered hopeless. There needs to be a balance.”
Allegri had labelled the game against Atalanta a relegation battle and thought the win could have come easier for his side.
He said: “There was only one point separating us in the standings, so that was what the table told us. We were only five points clear of the bottom three," he continued.
“It’s normal we should’ve defended better, but Atalanta are a strong side and Christian Abbiati did well. We could’ve comfortably ended the first half leading 2-0, but then scored twice during our worst moments of the match.”
Allegri has already confirmed he will be leaving Milan at the end of the season, and the Italian was indifferent to the future appointment.
He added: “I don’t particularly care who will be the Milan coach next season. I’m sure they will choose someone worthy of the job and worthy of replacing his predecessor, which is me.”