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.
Giacomo 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.
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“I really like Aguero for the way he is involved with the team. He is an inspiration for me,” Raspadori said.
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. It’s a bold comparison for someone who has only started banging in the goals in the 2021/22 season, with many resembling his style to that of Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero.
“I am inspired by Aguero, he is my role model in everything,” Raspadori admitted. You can tell, too.
OFFICIAL: RASPADORI SIGNS FOR NAPOLI! 💙
Reports say the deal will be a €5M loan with a €25M obligation to buy + another €5M in bonuses pic.twitter.com/btxA8IVEdh
— Italian Football TV (@IFTVofficial) August 20, 2022
How good is Giacomo Raspadori?
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.
He’s lightning fast when racing onto a through ball or running with the ball at his feet, and also likes to drop a bit deeper to provide some link-up to his midfielders and wide men. No matter what though, he’s in the box to get on the end of their delivery.
Regardless of these physical and technical skills, which apparently belong to a dribble-oriented winger, Raspadori has the mentality and the instinct of a finisher. From the very first years with the academy teams, he played almost every offensive position, but it was he who admitted he is a centre-forward. Of course, his movements are more varied than a regular striker’s movements. Not only does Raspadori attack space, but he often runs towards the ball to play in the channel or half spaces, where he has a great technical sensitivity when playing short passes. He also has great vision and passing accuracy when given the chance to move freely.
Raspadori’s limits are all merely physical. In order to play as a number 9 at high levels without matching the centre backs’ strength, he will have to specialize and improve the quality of his game, with and without the ball. Particularly, he will need to learn how to make his shooting more efficient, as it’s now good but not enough to stand among others. He needs to improve both power and precision.
Giacomo Raspadori stats
Standing only 5’6″ tall, Raspadori is deceptively strong, and much like Aguero, uses his body to excellent effect. They share great similarities when receiving the ball in the penalty area, knowing when to take an extra touch, when to manoeuvre a bit of space, and when to just rocket a shot away first time.
We’re talking about an anomalous technical profile in modern football because he has the body of a playmaker, but the playing style of a finisher. In fact, he’s been compared to another nimble striker like Antonio Di Natale. His peculiar physique is what makes him so versatile. This skill is enhanced by his great first control, neat and sensible with both feet when carrying the ball.
Raspadori scores 0.4 goals per 90, whilst also making 4.6 ball recoveries per 90. Better yet, Raspadori’s take-on success of 67.5% is one of the best in Europe.
Giacomo Raspadori will become Napoli’s 5th MOST EXPENSIVE signing 💰🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/MVaB2d1EsV
— Italian Football TV (@IFTVofficial) August 19, 2022
Giacomo Raspadori scout report
Raspadori is your classic fox in the box. He is an out-and-out striker, a centre-forward who loves to take up dangerous positions in the penalty area and get on the end of crosses from wide. He’s frighteningly two-footed, can finish comfortably from anywhere in the penalty area and also possesses a great leap to nod home crosses.
The Italian 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.
The 21-year-old likes to operate in tight spaces and has the calm presence of mind and quick feet needed to shift the ball from one side to the other, before making the room to get a shot away. He possesses that predatory instinct which can’t be taught, and just has the knack for goals.
When he receives the ball in space, Raspadori is quick, intense, and hard to contain. His quickness in tight spaces makes him formidable in setting up shots in the box, especially because his ability to use both feet makes it hard for defenders to guess what he’ll do.
He has been tested in a more supporting role and as an attacking midfielder once or twice, but his eye for goal means he should be as close to the six-yard box as possible at all times.
Giacomo Raspadori Napoli transfer and future
Napoli recently completed the signing of Giacomo Raspadori from Sassuolo, with the 22-year-old initially arriving on a season-long loan ahead of a permanent transfer next year.
Raspadori, who was also targeted by Juventus after scoring 10 Serie A goals in the 2021/22 season, follows the likes of Giovanni Simeone, Tanguy Ndombele and Kim Min-Jae in sealing a move to Naples during a busy transfer window in Southern Italy. Reports suggest Napoli will pay Sassuolo an initial € 5 million loan fee before parting with €30m to make the move permanent next year.