Here we look at young players across the globe who we believe have the potential to become the next big thing. Today, we take a look at PSG midfielder Marco Verratti, and how he ended up an integral part of the newly oil-rich French side.
Since his summer move from Pescara, the 19 year old has taken Ligue 1 by storm. He is already being compared to the likes of a Andrea Pirlo, and so far this season he has defied all the odds to claim a first team place at the world’s richest club, PSG. In this article, we look at this Italian wonder-kid in more detail.
Born in Pescara in 1992, Verratti signed for his local team at the age of eight and spent another eight years in their youth academy until he made his debut at the young age of sixteen in 2009. Verratti received more media coverage the next year as he began to shine, but it was in the 2011/12 season when the Italian moved position and became a deep lying playmaker, having initially played a more attacking role that he began attracting attention from the world’s top clubs.
Verratti made the provisional squad for the 2012 FIFA World Cup, but missed out on a spot in the final squad due to a lack of experience. He has currently made one international performance, in his team’s loss to England in a friendly.
After being in the privileged position to pick a move thanks to the offers of many clubs, Verratti signed for PSG in a move worth around £10m. Verratti’s move upset many in his homeland, including Italy boss Cesare Prandelli:
“If you can no longer compete at economical level, you’ll have to look at other ways. You have to invest in the future. I find it scandalous that someone like [Marco] Verratti, who we have all seen play in Italy and know well, is playing abroad, we let him go. I repeat: scandalous.”
Not only does this quote highlight the current dire state of the economy in Italian football, it shows how good a player Verratti is and that the national boss clearly sees him as an integral part of the national setup in years to come.
The only negative for Verratti is that his reputation has been affected by his choice to make a big money move to PSG rather than joining a top team in Italy; where, arguably, he would have played a higher quality of football.
Verratti is already being tipped for success by fellow teammates and coaches alike. PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti has said; “Italy can relax for the next World Cup as they already have an alternative to Pirlo and his name is Marco Verratti.”
It is clear that Verratti is a great prospect for the future not just for Italy and PSG, but for the world of football as well. However, some areas of Verratti’s game have not yet developed to a top class level.
The young Italian is fantastic when going forward and has already formed a good partnership with fellow midfielder Blaise Matuidi. His play defensively does lack polish and discipline. Often, he makes no real effort to track back after an attacking move and his judgment of when and when not to dive in is suspect.
Although many of PSG’s games that he has participated in have resulted in few goals conceded, in the Champions League and against stronger domestic opposition, Verratti will be exposed.
Overall, there is no doubt about it that Verratti is a quality player. Ancelotti has worked with and refined such players as Andrea Pirlo, who Verratti looks to emulate. Verratti must learn discipline at PSG and if Ancelotti backs him and allows Verratti to stay on track and progress, then we have no doubt that he can become as good as Pirlo.
We are sure that Verratti will have an extremely important role to play for club and country alike in the future and that he is probably the hottest prospect currently in Ligue 1.
James Martland, Get French Football News.
[ Image courtesy of Goal.com]