Last weekend Juventus played Roma in a Serie A league match. Unfortunately for our Italian national team, one of our main young stars, Nicolo Zaniolo, was injured and it has turned out to be the worst-case scenario. He has torn his anterior cruciate ligament or ACL along with damage done to his meniscus. His estimated time to be out will be 6 months which means that he is done for the rest of the Serie A season and likely out for the European Championship which will be from June 12 through July 12.
Our Azzurri are going to need to choose Zaniolo’s replacement wisely because although Italy is fortunate enough to have a wealth of talented young midfielders and wingers they need someone who is ready to take on this kind of spotlight and perform. Assuming Italy runs a 4-3-3 formation the obvious choice in my humble opinion is Federico Chiesa because although he hasn’t had the best season at Fiorentina so far, he has that special something when the ball is at his feet and he can create magic with his speed on and off the ball. A dark horse for Zaniolo’s replacement is Ricardo Orsolini because he has quietly had a good season for Bologna with 5 goals and 4 assists so far this season. By the numbers he’s having a better season than Chiesa and they are both the same age. The one player in my opinion who should not be considered for Zaniolo’s spot should not be Federico Bernardeschi. He has slight moments of brilliance but they are too far and few between and he lacks a finishing quality a winger needs for the national team. All you have to do is look at his stats for this season, 0 goals and 0 assists, enough said.
It will be interesting to see how this story develops for the national team but for now all we can do is hope for a good showing at UEFA Euro 2020.
- Picture- Soccer ball photo [Unsplash]