Success for Belotti was not so inevitable. He was not always tipped for the top. Instead, he has fought his way there, beating the odds to become an Italy international. The ability was there but it’s the character and sheer effort that has seen him through.
He’s sprung from almost nowhere for most. Indeed, the striker is on his way to becoming the unicorn, the prolific Italian striker. Mario Balotelli threatened and wants to threaten to be that once again, but Italy has yearned for a player of the stature of Christian Vieri for quite some time. Now, in this current transfer window, Andrea Belotti has become a highly sought after man and Torino have been erecting barriers to extract every bit of transfer fee from his inevitable departure. But how good is Belotti? He’s 23 years old and months younger than Alvaro Morata, Harry Kane, and Romelu Lukaku. Amongst this company, he holds his own.
He screams out to those that should/might pursue him. Both Chelsea and Man United have been touted as possible suitors and for the managers of both clubs he represents a dream. Initially a winger and midfielder, Belotti has translated that history into his current game. His willingness to drop deep and get involved in midfield, press opponents, tackle (he won 24 in 2016/17 compared to six for Zlatan Ibrahimović and nine for Diego Costa), and run hard for 90 minutes. For managers who base their football on defensive strength, after which everything emanates from, these qualities are admirable.
Not a bad season if you want to get noticed.
What sets him apart from lesser players and why he was such a handful in Serie A is that he’s essentially a more developed version of Romelu Lukaku, a scary proposition. Belotti possesses a compact, powerful frame and utilises it with his bustling, non-stop energy to devastating effect. This is coupled with his quick turn of pace to gain a yard advantage, another strength of Lukaku. What sets them apart is work-rate, although one must wonder how much of that was apathy/boredom for the big Belgian who yearns for a big move.
The Italian’s game is well rounded, another massive selling point. For Manchester United too, the joint second most frequent crossers in England with an average of 23 per game and 27 at home, his prowess with the head must have Jose Mourinho seriously considering triggering Belotti’s €100m release clause. The market is crazy and teams with the finances to do so are making massive offers if it means correcting deficiencies. The breakdown of the Torino man’s goals is as even as they come. He notched five with his ‘weaker’ left foot, 11 with his right, and another 10 with his head which is more than the nine scored by the entire Man United team last season.