In modern football, where formations and positions tend to disappear more and more and where the teams take on different tactical structures within the same match depending on the game play situations, multi-purpose players are increasingly in demand.
Knowing how to do different things and in different areas of the pitch has become fundamental if you don’t want to miss the boat in terms of tactical game play evolution.
Of the young Italian forwards, perhaps the one closest to truly becoming a multi-purpose player, is Sassuolo’s Gianluca Scamacca.

Scamacca is a centre striker with an imposing build (195 centimetres tall and 85 kilos) with super fine technique and a creative disposition worthy of a kaleidoscope.
The range of things he knows how to do is extremely wide. He can move in the centre to work with the midfielders, spread out wide and attempt dribbling in one-on-one encounters, arrive at the three-quarter mark to look for the shot from a distance or to send to a teammate, not to mention his physical strength in aerial duels.

For example, when he comes off the opposing team’s defensive line to play in the midfield, he often draws the opposing centre defender with him, creating space for his teammate to exploit.

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Scamacca receives the ball on the opposing team’s midfield, drawing the opposing centre defender with him, who succeeds in intercepting his killer pass intended to send his teammate into the space created.

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Cover the deep territory, waiting for him instead of following him, is not a good idea for the opposing defence, given his great ability to playmake and find the goal even from long distances.

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In this case, Scamacca receives the ball between the lines, in the middle space: the opposing defence tries to cover the backfield but the Italian striker serves his teammate who cuts deep with a nice lob.

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Even when he spreads out wide, once again to receive the ball and take on the defence with the ball, he throws the opposing defenders off in terms of marking the movement of the midfielders and the wings who move into the penalty area in his place.

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Scamacca starts from the outside and cuts toward the centre dribbling the ball. When he gets to the opposing midfield, the centre defender loses visual contact with the movements of the midfielder and the Sassuolo striker is able to set him up with a nice killer pass.

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At the moment, Scamacca throws the opposing teams into disorder unintentionally, simply looking for the ball and trying to show off.
The indispensable condition to truly become a multi-purpose player, on the other hand, will be placing these movements at the service of his team’s tactical objectives, perhaps also beginning to attack deep. Thereby creating spaces for his teammates, not only with the ball, but also with his movement.

Dario Saltari

Dario Saltari was born in 1989 and he holds a university degree in International Relations. He writes for L’Ultimo Uomo