Who is Giacomo Raspadori? Italy's brilliant 'little Aguero'
Italy have had some legendary World Cup strikers over the years – from Gigi Riva in the 1970s to Paolo Rossi in the 1980s to Christian Vieri in the 1990s.
Lately, though, the Azzurri have struggled to find a world-class number nine with Ciro Immobile particularly flattering to deceive under the management of Antonio Conte, Gian Piero Ventura and Roberto Mancini.
Could Raspadori be Italy’s next great attacker? Here, we profile the Sassuolo starlet.
What position does Giacomo Raspadori play in?
Raspadori is an adaptable forward capable of playing in a number of different roles. He has been mostly used as a first striker in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 but he is also just as comfortable as a support striker in a two-man attack.
In his last 25 matches, the young attacker has also been deployed as a right winger on five occasions, as a number 10 four times and also as a central midfielder once. Sixteen of these appearances, though, were in his natural centre forward role.
How good is Giacomo Raspadori?
Raspadori is a small and nippy striker with excellent ball control, technique and the ability to dribble past opponents in tight spaces.
He is both-footed, able to shoot and move equally well off both his right and left peg. This makes him unpredictable as defenders don’t know which way he will go with the ball.
Given his low centre of gravity, he is comfortable with dropping into the hole and his movement is also excellent.
Raspadori has been compared to a number of outstanding, diminutive forwards in the past such as Carlos Tevez, Antonio Di Natale but particularly Sergio Aguero.
The youngster has stated that Aguero was one of his idols growing up – along with Cameroon legend Samuel Eto’o.
“I really like Aguero for the way he is involved with the team. He is an inspiration for me,” Raspadori said earlier this year.
Former Milan and Italy striker Marco Borriello agrees with the Aguero comparisons, adding: “He is a little Aguero.”
Italy coach Roberto Mancini recognises the potential Raspadori has. He named him in his Euro 2020 squad, fully aware that the Sassuolo star would barely play, in order to give him a priceless experience that ended in title glory. He made one short substitute appearance versus Wales in the groups.
With the Azzurri struggling for a top-class number nine for almost a decade now, many believe that Raspadori will soon be the answer to what has become a problem position for La Nazionale.
After four substitute appearances in 2021, he was named for his first Italy start in the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania in September, scoring his first Azzurri goal in the process.
For Sassuolo, he had a breakout season of sorts in 2020-21, scoring a respectable six Serie A goals from just 13 starts.
Following the sale of Ciccio Caputo to Sampdoria, he will be a regular going forward for club and, perhaps, country as well soon.
What clubs are interested in Giacomo Raspadori?
Inter have been following Raspadori over the last year and considered making a move for him in the summer of 2021 after selling Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea.
Raspadori supported Inter as a child and has made no secret of his love for the club.
Juventus also were heavily linked with Raspadori in the summer of 2021 when considering replacements for Cristiano Ronaldo.
When does Giacomo Raspadori’s contract expire?
Raspadori’s contract with Sassuolo expires on June 30, 2024.
How old is Giacomo Raspadori?
Raspadori was born on 18 February, 2000. He is aged 21.
What is Giacomo Raspadori’s height?
Raspadori is 5ft 8in tall, or 1.72m.
What is Giacomo Raspadori’s weight?
Raspadori is reportedly 70kg, or 11st 0lb.
What football boots does Giacomo Raspadori wear?
Raspadori wears Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 soccer cleats.
What is Giacomo Raspadori’s Instagram?
You can follow Raspadori on Instagram by clicking on this link. He has 101,000 followers as of September 2021.