Player Analysis: Mattia Zaccagni, Verona’s Quality Entertainer

Tired of watching slow football where players are static on the field, passing the ball sideways and backwards, waiting for an opening to launch an attack? Now you have the solution. It is called Mattia Zaccagni, a player that makes you want to watch all of Verona’s games even if you are not their fan, and wait for him in excitement to have the ball at his feet and witness what magic trick he will perform next.

Our player today is not a very young talent anymore. He’s a 25 year old attacking midfielder who plays for Hellas Verona since 2016. Mattia Zaccagni has been a key factor in Verona’s good season scoring 5 times and making 7 assists.

Looking at how Verona was competing at the top of the Serie A table at the beginning of the season until recently, it is clear that coach Ivan Jurić has organized his team and planned the movement of every player. As part of the plan, it seems he has decided to give one of his attacking Midfielders, Mattia Zaccagni, freedom to unleash his creative side and benefit from all his potential.

Zaccagni, who is able to play in most midfield positions, is best suited for Attacking Midfield towards the left side where he intimidates opponents with his acceleration and unpredictable movement. Though he is not always successful, his effort is usually enough to create space by dragging more than one player towards him which results most of the time in winning a foul.

In comparison to his colleague on the right side, Antonín Barák, Mattia may not give the impression to be very excellent in terms of numbers but the quality of his choices can make all the difference as he puts his team in great offensive situations.

Zaccagni is most successful when he goes through the middle rather than on the wing where he usually attempts a cross that fails to reach its intended target. In fact, crossing is an important aspect of the game where he needs to improve (11% success rate). This can make him more lethal as he would have more options of play.

Despite having a not so attractive record of 72% success in passing, which obviously should be improved, the right footed midfielder can boast about his vision and ability to think outside of the box. He is able to read and anticipate his teammates’ runs in the opposition half which justifies the 7 assists he has accumulated.

Mattia can be considered as a ball-hugger. He would be seldom seen passing the ball unless left with no other option. It’s simply not his priority. Zaccagni enjoys displaying his technical skills and being the hero. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative thing since he is the dynamo of Verona and their magician.

Although he is a regular starter who proved to be reliable even in the defensive phase of the game as he completed 15 interceptions so far, Zaccagni is often subbed off – an eye opening 12 times this season – by coach Jurić who either finds him tired or for tactical reasons. Mattia, who is a hard worker on the pitch, should consider bulking up since he only weights 63 kg. Adding more strength can help him retain the ball with more ease rather than get roughed up by opponents.

It is probably a foregone conclusion to any debate that Mattia Zaccagni is ready for a big move that would allow him to showcase more of his talent as he continues to improve. His confidence and maturity can guarantee that he wouldn’t fail. Game after game he is playing with character and proving to be a solid midfielder from whom his teammates can gather inspiration.

After interest from Milan, Napoli, Roma and Lazio failing to materialize in a transfer during January, coach Ivan Jurić will be delighted to retain his creative attacking midfielder at least until the end of the season. Meanwhile, Mattia Zaccagni will keep on turning heads with his stellar performances.