Matteo Politano – The Ace Up Inter’s Sleave

July 3, 2018 10:30
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Born and raised in Rome, Matteo Politano started his football career representing his hometown club, Roma, going up through the youth ranks, winning a variety of trophies before joining Lega Pro side Perugia on loan at 19. Despite a successful loan spell, Politano was used as a bargaining chip upon his return in a deal that saw Gianluca Caprari returned to the Capital from Pescara.

Politano was destined for a bigger stage, and so he spent just two years in Abruzzo before moving to the Province of Modena, 203 miles from his hometown, to join Serie A side Sassuolo; The club he eventually created his status in Lega Calcio, stealing the headlines with outstanding performances and jaw dropping goals

Stats:

Name: Matteo Politano
Age: 24
Position: Winger (left or right)
Country: Italy

2017/2018:
Appearances (Subs): 35 (4)
Goals: 11
Assists: 4
Key Passes: 62 (1.7 per game)
Dribbles: 70 (1.9 per game)
Pass Success: 74.4%
Average Passes per game: 24.6
Crosses per game: 1

Strengths:

Politano is a very fast player with immense dribbling skills. He is a hardworking, dynamic and a versatile left footed forward; can play in either sides of the pitch, through the center or as an attacking midfielder. He is also an accurate set piece taker. He possess a powerful and accurate striking ability from distance. Politano is also a good finisher with both feet. He is technically gifted, grace with the ability to find spaces and make attacking runs from behind.

Weakness:

Politano’s noticeable weakness is aerial duels. Can’t expect a 1.71 meter tall player to win aerial challenges. Another is defensive contributions. He rarely helps us out the fullbacks instead he stations up front, waiting for the ball to start a swift counter attack.

How He Fits In Spalletti’s Tactics:

He plays primarily as a winger, but can also be deployed as striker or as an attacking midfielder. He played majority of the games last season as a left winger: mainly due to Berardi occupying the right side. But he was more effective when used as a centre forward along with another striker. He scored 8 goals in those 12 games.

However it remains to see if Spalletti will utilize him in the same role in his proposed 3-4-1-2 formation, or used as a right winger in a much preferred 4-2-3-1 system, displacing Candreva.

What To Expect:

Politano is a fast, talented and skillful player who likes to cut into the centre and shoot on goal from outside with his stronger left foot, or link up with his teammate in order to create a goalscoring opportunity or space. He could act as an impact substitute; Giving the attack a new dimension and causing threats from all angles. He is capable of clinging to the ball, making silky movements while waiting his teammate to get into position.

When played as a left winger, he often dribbles into the box to set up a teammate. He also likes to cross from each side of the pitch. Politano is capable of making those runs from midfield to the box to set up his teammate or have a go at the goal.

He has all the attacking weapons needed in his arsenal. In addition he has a strong mentality and just needs to a big platform to showcase his talent.

Daniel Etefia
By Daniel Etefia