Il Gallo (the rooster) is the leading scorer alongside AS Roma hitman Edin Dzeko and has risen to prominence this season. We’re talking about none other than Andrea Belotti folks. He has outscored the likes of Mauro Icardi and Gonzalo Higuaín this season. Having turned 23 this past December, it is little surprise that several European giants are after his signature in the summer.
Belotti has a foreign club clause in his contract and therefore none of the Italian clubs (sorry Juve, next time) can sign him. Torino are currently languishing in 10th place, so there is no real hope of having European football next season. One may feel that this would be one of the most important reasons if Belotti was to move in the summer.
Manchester United are one of those clubs who are really interested in landing the 23-year old centre-forward. The Red Devils have been criticised as being toothless in attack this season even after adding the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimović, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Paul Pogba to their already talented squad last summer. They have managed just 43 goals in the league this season and sit eighth in the scoring charts, behind the likes of AFC Bournemouth and Everton FC. A staggering stat considering the ambitions of the club and the players they have at their disposal.
“I cannot buy a striker more experienced than Zlatan [Ibrahimović], right?” said Jose Mourinho when asked about the next transfer window. “We have Marcus [Rashford], we believe in Marcus, that’s no doubt. Are we going to buy a striker? Maybe.”
And there are sources saying that Zlatan is going to leave United in the summer in favour of a move to the United States. This should come as bittersweet news as it will allow United to sign the Torino striker who has the potential to fill the void left by the Swede.
Although it would take a massive bid to sign the Italy international, it would mean the ushering in of a new generation of players who are young and talented and fit the Red Devils’ attacking philosophy. What a sight it would be to see Pogba, Anthony Martial and Belotti lighting up the Premier League.
One of Belotti’s best traits is that he is a natural finisher. A kind United haven’t enjoyed since the departure of Robin van Persie. He is a fox-in-the-box they so badly need. It wasn’t surprising to see Jose Mourinho praising former United old boy Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez of his penalty box exploits.
“In the way we play at Old Trafford, in the way we dominate opponents, in the way we play in their box, I think Chicharito would have 20 goals easily, even coming from the bench for the last 10 or 20 minutes. He’d have 20 goals,” was what Jose had to say this past week about the Mexican.
Here are some impressive Belotti stats,
- Belotti boasts an impressive goal per game ratio of 0.41 in Serie A. To put that into context, Chelsea’s Diego Costa has the same in his career. Add to this the work rate of Belotti, and he gives a lot more to the team than just goals. Yes, Zlatan is a great influence on the team, but he doesn’t contribute in terms of sheer running that Belotti can put in. He is the first line of defence and is tireless for the team’s cause.
- Andrea Belotti has suffered an average of at least 3-4 fouls in Serie A this season. This says a lot about his character and can come in handy in the hostile environment of the English top flight.
- Belotti has the accolade of having scored the fastest hat-trick in Serie A (7 min and 15 sec) when he notched a treble against his former club Palermo on 5th March 2017.
- From crosses and set-pieces, Belotti is a real handful and his heading technique makes him superb in the air. He is extremely mobile, physically imposing and dominant in the opposition box, he has an impressive leap and the timing of his runs are second to none.
- Belotti is also very adept in his overall play. His target play is superb and can link up with the midfield and find them with through-balls into the penalty area.
At just 23, Andrea Belotti is a complete centre-forward and any team on the planet would love have him. He definitely won’t come cheap, but he is a risk worth taking.