Alessandro Rossi promises to continue the long tradition of Italian centre forwards who combine effort and substance. He hasn’t scored since 21 January, exactly one month ago, and yet he is still the top goal-scorer in the Italian U19 Group A, and he has maintained an average of 1 goal every 90 minutes. He is 20 years old, he is more powerful and faster than his peers and he has shown that he is well-aware of the set of movements required of a modern forward to occupy the offensive spaces.

Despite not being very tall, he engages in offensive duels all over the pitch, with an average of 8 every 90 minutes, forcing the opposing team into destabilisation during their defensive phase. Starting far from the goal does not keep him from arriving at a shot. He finds 3.4 chances for a goal every 90 minutes, with a very interesting distribution, focused in the central zone of the penalty area.

Scouting Time  1

On this occasion against the Perugia U19 defence which is trying to move forward, he uses the classic “half moon movement” to sneak around behind Polidori and draw the killer pass from Bezziccheri. Then, with a flat right toward the near post, he scores one of the four goals that he made in the same match.

Scouting Time  2

On the last match day, Lazio proved that they were worthy of the first place by winning against second-ranked Sampdoria. Sampdoria tried not to leave room deep for Rossi, but the shallow defence created spaces that Rossi skilfully exploited.

Anticipating the ball, he draws the man marking him off the line. At that point, the triangle could close toward the centre, which would be more logical, but the first, imprecise control, forces him to look for another solution. At that point, he turns toward the right wing, where the fullback has to overlap, to then move away from the penalty area.

Scouting Time  3

Scouting Time  4

Therefore, the numerical superiority that Lazio was unable to exploit previously, presents itself once again at the centre of the area on Spizzichino’s cross. With a similar play, a central give and go for the insertion of the midfielder, Lazio took the lead a few minutes later. Rossi is proving to be decisive both because of the space he manages to occupy on his good days and because of what he is able to create in those periods when he is in a scoring slump.

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Francesco Lisanti was born in Matera in 1994 and studies engineering. He is an author for L’Ultimo Uomo