Striking Sensation Giacomo Raspadori Is One to Watch Next Year

In what has become a boon period for young Italian players making their respective teams, Sassuolo’s Giacomo Raspadori is making his case to be one of the next best strikers in Serie A.

As seems the case with most young Italian players, Raspadori’s introduction to first team life has been injected with patience you may not see from other teams around Europe. However, the striker has pressed home his case this season when given the chance in the absence of talismanic striker Ciccio Caputo, who has been out since March.

A nimble, versatile forward with an eye for goal, Raspadori has played at the tip of De Zerbi’s 4-2-3-1 formation where his movement and technical ability has caused headaches for opponents throughout the league and won him admiring glances from Europe’s larger teams.

Born in Bentivoglio in the Emilia Romagna region, Giacomo was picked up by Sassuolo from an early age joining their academy from nine years old. Though born just outside Bologna, Raspadori grew up an Inter fan and his idol was Samuel Eto’o.

In my room I had an Eto’o poster. I was a supporter of Inter and I was crazy about the Cameroonian who was the protagonist of the treble,” he said in an interview. Still, his game is more akin to that of fellow countryman and Serie A legend Antonio Di Natale.

Standing a shade under 5 ft 9’, Raspadori uses his technical gifts and intelligent movement to compete against the more physical and dominating defenders in the league.

When the striker receives the ball in the box, his touch is soft and can manipulate the ball to create the yard of space he needs to get a shot away in an instance. Although he has only scored six goals this season, including a famous brace away to Milan, the signs are there that he can add more goals with the more time on the pitch he gets.

Goals are not the only commodity the striker brings to his side. Being part of Sassuolo’s system set up by Roberto De Zerbi, each player is required to be adept on the ball and Raspadori likes to take his turn in possession and be part of the overall scheme of play. The striker comes to the ball and plays neat short quick passes, creating space for him to then operate in whether that be launching forward with a mazy dribble or looking to move into space to receive the ball and get a shot away.

If ever an indication of his talent in the attacking half of the pitch his average in shot creating actions per 90 mins is 4.32, placing him in the 97% percentile in the league.

For Raspadori, the only limits on his future as a great number 9 are physical. If he was to be placed in a team that launches forward long passes into the channel or relies on heavy cross chance creation, he would likely struggle. His technical ability and footballing IQ would allow the striker to play across multiple positions in the front line from an inverted wide man to number 10.

Raspadori’s rise has not gone under the radar and there are rumors of a summer move from the likes of Bayern, RB Leipzig and even his boyhood team Inter.

Following his current trajectory, the young man would bring an exciting attacking element to any of those sides. However, with De Zerbi’s transfer to Shakhtar and Manuel Locatelli’s rumored departure as well, Sassuolo may look to do everything in their power to keep their future star. For how long, it remains to be seen.