Italy has been at the pinnacle of world football for a very long time; a fact backed by their 4 World Cups, and a European Championship win. This continued domination at the international level has been due to their high-quality production of players from the grassroots level.
This process of producing quality footballers from the grassroots level to the international stage hasn’t just continued over the years. It has thrived.
Here are 5 of Italian up and coming Wonderkids.
5. Federico Chiesa (Midfielder/Winger, Fiorentina)
Primarily a winger, Chiesa is an energetic, dynamic and skillful midfielder who is effective on either flank or through the middle; with an ability to burst past his marker with his rapid pace and incredible technique. Is also a good passer of the ball with a successful pass rate of 84.7%.
He still has to work on the defensive side of his game and numerous times has been guilty of losing possession. His tendency to lose himself during games and an unwanted habit of keeping his head down during dribbles are some of the things he has to sort out in his game if he wants to make it big in the game.
4. Manuel Locatelli (Midfielder, AC Milan)
He is a very strong tackler and is extremely good in breaking up plays; is also a reliable passer of the ball with a pass completion rate of 81%. Locatelli also possesses a huge shot range, a fact which can be backed by his game winners against Sassuolo and Juventus.
Locatelli weaknesses are tied to his lack of physicality; his aerial ability is his biggest weakness, as he tends to lose most of his aerial duels. He isn’t the strongest player on the field and is bullied by stronger opposition players majority of the time. There is also room for improvement in the set piece taking department.
3. Patrick Cutrone (Forward, AC Milan)
A natural striker, Cutrone is well built for his age and is tall enough for a center-forward. Can finish with both feet; has good heading ability and can stretch opposition defenses with his pace and movement. He is a well-rounded player with the right mix of physical strength, timing, technique and tactical awareness.
Cutrone’s biggest weakness is the problem of fading out late in games both as a starter or as a substitute. He also needs to work on his ball holding capabilities as he lacks decision making with the ball at his feet in tight situations. Cutrone isn’t gifted with blinding speed which may prove to be decisive in future even though he makes up for it with his physical attributes.
2. Claud Adjapong (Defender, Sassuolo)
Primarily a right-back, Adjapong biggest strength is his versatility; he can play on the right as a full-back, wing-back, midfielder or even as an attacking winger. An attack-minded winger with tactical awareness and pace; Adjapong also possess an innate ability to break up plays with his high intercepting ability.
Adjapong had a solid start to the season before picking up an injury. He was in the starting lineup in 6 of the 7 games before his injury; during which time, he made 2.7 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 2 blocks per game.
1. Moise Kean (Forward, Hellas Verona on loan from Juventus)
Kean is a forward who possesses a deadly combination of blistering pace and brutal power; his running, control and desire to get into box make him a nightmare for defenders. A hard-working player, Kean has been praised for his defensive contributions off the ball. He is also good in the air and wins a majority of his aerial duels.
Like all young players, Kean lacks decision-making ability when the ball is at his feet; has been accused of taking on too many defenders and losing possession in the process. He also needs to work on crossing and set piece taking ability.