Italians Abroad: Scamacca Opens Account, Canadian Struggles

There are a host of top quality Italian footballers playing across the world and we’re here to give you a roundup of some the highlights over the weekend’s football. From well-established players with the Azzurri such as Gianluigi Donnarumma, Marco Verratti and Lorenzo Insigne, to some of Italy’s most exciting young talents like Gianluca Scamacca and Lorenzo Lucca, there are plenty of exciting talking points to delve into from outside Serie A. So, let’s take a look at the latest performances from some of the Italians abroad.

Gianluca Scamacca (West Ham)

Gianluca Scamacca scored his first Premier League goal last Saturday, opening the scoring in West Ham’s 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers. The 23-year-old, who left Sassuolo for a fee of around £32 million over the summer, has not been able to secure a regular spot in the team since his move but he will now look to nail down a regular spot in David Moyes’ side and lead the line for the Hammers. The 6ft 5 in forward has been likened to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and West Ham were keen admirers of his work rate, as well as both his goal-scoring and creative abilities. Now he has had some time to settle in, Scamacca could start to live up to the hype and produce in the Premier League.

Jorginho (Chelsea)

Jorginho featured in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory away to Crystal Palace last Saturday, occupying his usual central midfield role next to Mateo Kovacic. Palace chairman Steve Parish was critical of the Italian’s performance, clearly frustrated with the number of fouls Jorginho had committed before receiving a yellow card. The 30-year-old is also a doubt for Chelsea’s Champions League clash against Milan on Wednesday after picking up a knock over the weekend. 

Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain)

Paris Saint-Germain are home to some of the most well-known Italians abroad. Gianluigi Donnarumma was the only Italian on display for PSG in their 2-1 win over Nice at the weekend, with Marco Verratti missing out due to suspension. Donnarumma has played in every minute for PSG in Ligue Un so far this season and he and his backline have the joint-best defensive record in the league, conceding just five goals in nine games. Donnarumma has also kept five clean sheets so far this term – the most out of any goalkeeper so far in the French top flight. 

Lorenzo Lucca (Ajax)

Hotly tipped youngster, Lorenzo Lucca, only made a brief cameo off the bench for Ajax this week and is yet to find his first Eredivisie goal. The 22-year-old is currently on loan with the Dutch champions after joining from Pisa but Ajax do have an option to buy the forward at the end of the season. It hasn’t been plain sailing for Lucca since he arrived in Amsterdam and he is struggling to find a place in head coach Alfred Schreuder’s side, with the likes of Brian Bobbey and Mohammed Kudus being preferred up top. 

Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi & Domenico Criscito (Toronto FC)

Toronto FC have certainly been no strangers to the impact Italians can have. Sebastian Giovinco was a hit in the MLS when he signed for the Canadian club back in 2015, scoring 68 league goals across four seasons, as well as helping them to an MLS Cup championship in 2017 and three Canadian Championships. This summer saw Toronto dip back into the transfer market for Italians, signing Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi and Domenico Criscito. The hope was that they could help reconnect the club with the Italian roots of the city, due to the history of Italian workers, and spark a similar impact to that of Giovinco.

Insigne failed to hit the back of the net for Toronto FC this week as his side suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Inter Miami FC. The former Napoli man has made a solid start to life in the US, scoring six goals and assisting twice in 11 MLS games. However, the Canadian side are struggling so far this season and sit second from bottom in the Eastern Conference. 35-year-old veteran Domenico Criscito is also a regular for Toronto and the former Genoa defender played the full 90 minutes against Inter Miami, so too did Federico Bernardeschi but the Italian cohort did not help deliver the three points. 

Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Although not a player, Italian boss Roberto De Zerbi managed his first game as Brighton & Hove Albion head coach over the weekend as his side drew 3-3 away to Liverpool. The former Shakhtar Donetsk and Sassuolo manager will perhaps feel he could have even taken all three points after going two goals ahead, especially since Liverpool have struggled so far this term, but he will be happy with the result nonetheless. Brighton had made a good start to this year’s campaign under Graham Potter before he left for Chelsea so De Zerbi will now be tasked to keep things on the right path for the Seagulls. 

Luiz Felipe (Real Betis)

Luiz Felipe had a game to forget for Real Betis this weekend as the 25-year-old was sent off after just 19 minutes of action in their 1-0 defeat away to Celta Vigo. Felipe left Lazio over the summer to join Betis on a free transfer and has made five appearances so far this season. Manuel Pellegrini’s side sit in fourth place after a strong start to the season and their loss against Celta Vigo on Sunday was only their second of the campaign. Felipe will be hoping he can retain his spot in the starting lineup once his suspension ends and that is likely to be the case since he has impressed since moving to La Liga. Despite being born in Brazil, Felipe decided not to wait for the Brazil call up and instead welcomed the interest from Roberto Mancini to play for the Azzurri