Andrea Belotti- Il Gallo

There have not been many other strikers in the world recently who have been on the lips of many football fans around the world more than Andrea Belotti. The Torino striker who has bagged himself 17 goals and 4 assists in 24 games has been in tremendous form which has seen him being speculated with some of Europe’s elite. The 23-year old’s increasing reputation has come with a hefty valuation of 100 million euros for clubs outside of Italy in his release clause and I believe that this price tag is extremely justified and here is why.

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Belotti started his career in the Lower Leagues of Italian football with AlbinoLeffe. He was called up to the first team after his impressive time in the youth team scoring 13 goals and winning a youth title. Alongside playing with the youth side he made a few sub appearances while also starting 4 games for the then Serie B side. He finished his first short spell as a pro with 2 goals in 8 games. In the next season AlbinoLeffe were relegated to the Lega Pro Seconda Divisione but this unfortunate circumstance for the club was a good thing for Belotti as he was given a chance to prove what he can do when given a full season as the main striker. Belotti took the chance well and finished with 12 goals in 30 games which did not go unnoticed by other Italian clubs.

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Palermo, who were relegated from the Serie A, brought the youngster in on loan which was a huge opportunity for the youngster which he had to take, which he very much did. In his first game for the Rosanero he assisted Kyle Lafferty in a 2-1 loss against Bari. By the end of the season Belotti scored 10 goals and got 4 assists in just 11 starts which was a fantastic return for the Italian International which is why Palermo ended up buying him for approximately 5 million euros. Unfortunately in his first season in the Serie A with Palermo, Belotti was not getting the game time he rightfully deserved. He finished the year with 6 goals and 2 assists in just 9 starts which is a good return for a player who was not getting enough game time.

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Torino ultimately ended up taking the gamble on the youngster and ended up buying him for 7.5 million euros in August 2015. The gamble that Torino took payed off massively as it would turn out. Belotti would have a slow start to his time with Torino as he failed to score in his first 10 games but, once he scored he didn’t look back and the Gallo would rapidly emerge as one of Italy’s biggest young stars. In his first year with Torino Belotti finished with 12 goals and 6 assists in 37 games. Coming into this season and Belotti has started this season how he finished his last, by scoring goals and he has bagged himself 17 goals and 4 assists in just 23 games which is immense. It is also not surprising that Real Madrid want to sign him after this great run of form. Belotti has proven to be a key part of Torino due to his goals because of Torino’s below average defence. Belotti’s fantastic form did not go unnoticed by his national team as he was called up to the senior squad in August of 2016. Since his international debut Belotti has scored 3 goals in 5 games for his country which overall is fantastic for someone who is still just only 23.

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Strengths-
Belotti is a dying breed of typical old fashioned number 9’s, he is not the quickest player or the most technically gifted but he has fantastic work rate that never sees him stop running. Belotti is an all-round fantastic finisher who is not only prolific but can score all types of goals, whether it will be with his head, left foot or right foot 9 times out of 10 he will score. Belotti is just a very nitty gritty striker who will chase down every ball and won’t be afraid to get stuck in which makes him a constant nuisance for defenders. also, his attacking awareness and reactions help him make quick decisions to score him goals like for example his goal vs AC Milan showcases this excellently. There was a shot by Adem Ljajic which fell into his path at speed and Belotti managed to quickly turn his body and finish his chance against a very talented Gianluigi Donnarumma.

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Belotti is a player who is just improving game after game which is a scary thought because of just how good he is now, imagine what he may be like when he is 26/27. still with all the attention he is getting now I would say that he is underrated by some people and should be given a lot more credit than some give to him. Wherever he ends up next summer one thing is for certain, if you give the Gallo a chance he will score you goals and I have no doubt that in the future he will be a world class striker.

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