Staying with our data analysis series in collaboration with The Scouting App, The Cult of Calcio moves towards the latest installation of our Under-20 data series by taking a look at four young goalkeepers who have the potential to becoming regular starters in the Serie A and possibly beyond in the coming years.
Before we begin our analysis, let’s have a small discussion about the goalkeeping position. Being the man between the sticks is not for everyone. The position of a goalkeeper has gone through a lot of changes over the years. From being a safety first player to someone with phenomenal cat-like reflexes, the position’s true evolution started when a certain Lev Yashin splashed onto the field and became part of one of the greatest now former USSR team during the 50s and early 60s.
While most goalkeepers nowadays are expected to have character and a safe pair of hands, these two are not the only requisites. With managers expecting every element of the defensive setup to be the initiators of attacking moves, the role of a goalkeeper has also changed.
Today, you must have noticed that some of the top teams around the world prefer to sign only those keepers whose legs aren’t shaking the moment they receive a back pass. Gone are the days when you would see an anxious keeper thump the ball to wherever he can the moment he received a pass.
Now, rather than kicking like a mule, goalkeepers are expected to have a far stronger end product. And as the game continues to evolve, we see that even when the team is running out of time, players rarely ask their goalkeepers to go for a long ball in hopes that a teammate would connect his header and end up saving his side.
The Italian Serie A already boasts some truly great goalkeepers but the league is a factory that keeps churning out new products year in year out.
So in this data analysis, we will look at the data and statistics of the following goalkeepers who might not have played a lot of games but have shown enough potential to stake a claim for a promising career.
Turati is a 19-year-old goalkeeper currently on the books of Serie A outfit Sassuolo. Currently valued at 400,000 euros, the teenage goalkeeper has been with the Neroverdi since 2018 and is yet to play in the Serie A this season but has already managed two Serie A appearances in the games against Juventus and Cagliari with both games resulting in a 2-2 scoreline.
In order to see how the youngster has fared so far in top flight football, we’re only going to analyze his performances from those two games since that would give us a good idea of what the future holds for the teenager.
As you can see from this game’s heatmap, Turati was pretty much protected by the defenders throughout the game but when needed, would rush off his line to make an important intervention or a clearance.
The youngster was given the chance to showcase his credentials against Juventus and made seven saves, had one punch and five of those saves came from inside the box. The youngster also showed great distribution skills, boasting an 80% accuracy.
This was the player’s first ever game in topflight Italian football and purely through the data, we can see that Turati was not fazed by the presence of a fearsome attacking side. This goes on to show that he does have the right mentality to become a successful player.
The game against Cagliari was yet another 2-2 draw but unlike the Juventus game, Turati was unable to make a lot of saves but his accurate passes percentage improved from 80 to 90. He made one high claim and one save but that was down to the inability of the defense to deal with certain situations.
19-year-old Brancolini is currently under contract at Fiorentina and has a transfer market value of 500,000 euros.
The youngster spent his formative years at the Modena youth academy before linking up with La Viola’s Under-19 squad. Like Turati, Brancolini is yet to play in the Serie A this season but with Cesare Prandelli now at the helm, the youngster might be given a run in.
Brancolini made his debut last season in Fiorentina’s 4-0 thrashing of Bologna. The teenager was given only nine minutes to showcase his worth and since the game was already over by that time, did not have a lot of work to do.
However, in the Campionato Primavera last season, the youngster averaged 3.5 saves per game and boasted a shot saving percentage of 81% which is quite phenomenal.
Showcasing further agility, Brancolini averaged 2 interceptions per game and averaged 36 passes at the same time with an average accuracy of 83%. Moreover, the young Italian seems to be very comfortable with the ball at his feet so once he is given a proper run out with the first team, you can expect him to add a calming effect to the team’s otherwise panicking defense.
At the age of 20, Marco Carnesecchi is not a household name but you can expect big things from the native of Rimini. The youngster’s transfer market value is 2.1M euros right now which goes on to show that he is on the right path.
On the books of Atalanta, Carnesecchi is yet to feature in the first team this season but after spending last season on loan with Trapani Calcio who were relegated to Serie C following a tumultuous 2019-20 campaign where the club was in financial and legal issues due to its parent company.
Nonetheless, you can safely say that Carnesecchi made the most of his time in Sicily where he played 33 games under really dire circumstances.
The 20-year-old averaged 3.6 saves per game and boasted a commendable 70% save percentage. Moreover, Carnesecchi averaged 1.36 interceptions and 26 passes which goes on to show that he has great distribution already.
During some of the games in Serie B, Carnesecchi was forced into being even more alert than a normal keeper would considering how abject the team was. He was playing in a team that was averaging at least 13 shots against them every game so a shot save ratio of 70% shows just how mentally tough this player is.
And after representing Italy in junior levels and currently in the Under-21, Carnesecchi should patiently wait in the wings and make full use of all opportunities that come his way.
One of the most eye-catching things about the youngster’s performances from previous season was that he actually managed to save 3 out of 11 penalties which is a great stat for even the most seasoned goalkeeper out there.
With the confidence of regularly coming off his line and really stay alert and mobile inside the penalty area, you can say for sure that Carnesecchi is going to become one of the most active and imposing goalkeepers in Italy.
Plizzari is an up and coming goalkeeper who is currently on the books of Milan but on loan to Reggina and boasts a transfer value of 2M euros. The youngster spent the last season on loan at Serie B side Livorno for whom he played 21 games.
And while the 2019-20 campaign culminated in relegation for Livorno, on a personal level, it was a crucial learning for Alessandro Plizzari who was able to gain a lot of experience and became the team’s first choice goalkeeper and merited his place as well.
Just like Carnesecchi, Plizzari did not have a very stable defense in front of him and was forced into maturing a lot quicker than his parent club would have hoped for. Plizzari averaged 3.6 saves per game and boasted a success percentage of 66.
However, a lot of it is down to the fact that Livorno averaged 15 shots on their goal every game which is a very poor number and a damning indictment on how the team was laid out to play, without providing ample support to a very young goalkeeper.
The youngster averaged approximately one interception per game and made 32 passes per game with an accuracy of 85% which is fairly decent for a keeper whose confidence should have taken a hit based on the team’s overall performance.
However, if there is one thing that the youngster might need some work on, that would be his judgement when it comes to saving long shots. During some of the games last season, Plizzari did appear a little double-minded when it came to judging such situations.
Nonetheless, he has another shot at further improving himself at Reggina who are going to give him enough chances to continue his development.
In this data analysis, we did a basic walkthrough of four of the most talented young goalkeepers in Italy. All four have the potential to become regular starters in the Serie A in a few years’ time. Based on our analysis backed by that of The Scouting App, it is Plizzari and Carnesecchi who really catch the eye.
Carnesecchi, in particular, is already proving himself to be a keeper who could be ready for first team football in the Serie A. However, Plizzari is not far behind.
But will these two become rivals for the Azzurri starting spot?
Time, development and how they are managed by their parent clubs will tell us more about that.