Roberto Piccoli: The Italian teenager lighting up the UEFA Youth League

Manchester City’s youth academy has improved significantly over the last few seasons. More so since Pep Guardiola arrived at the Etihad. The Citizens’ academy has produced the likes of Jadon Sancho, Brahim Diaz and of course Phil Foden. It’s evident that under the Mansour ownership, there is a long term vision for City with youth development. But transfer policy may be geared towards signing young prospects alongside the established stars. Roberto Piccoli would be an example of the former.

The young Italian has been on fire in the UEFA Youth League this season. He has shone for Atalanta, scoring 6 goals in 6 games for the Under 19 side. That puts him level with Tottenham’s Troy Parrott for top scorer in the competition. Inevitably, this has caught the eyes of top European sides.

According to Calciomercato, City are keeping an eye on Piccoli, with Guardiola said to be an admirer of the striker. Moreover, the outlet has also suggested Borussia Dortmund, AS Monaco and AC Milan are all interested in him. The 18 year old is definitely a man in demand.

So, stats aside, why do so many top sides want the youngster? We’ll give you a brief run down:

Roberto Piccoli – Style of Play

At 6ft 2, Piccoli is a striker that relies on good finishing as well as his aerial presence. This is helped greatly by his intelligent movement and great positioning.

Multiple times in the video, the 18 year old is seen making good runs either into the box or on the edge of it. For a player of his stature and with his height, he surprisingly has a good turn of pace. The way he pressed the keeper and put him under pressure to make mistake and eventually score the goal, that’s encouraging to see.

The Italian U19 international isn’t afraid to shoot, taking shots from what would seem like tight angles, but still finding the back of the net on most occasions.

Roberto Piccoli

As aforementioned, his positional sense is excellent, which enables him to get as win tap-ins as he does. Scoring easy goals is an underrated skill, as making the movement to get in such a good position often goes under the radar. The definition of a poacher, with 6 goals in 6 games to show for it. His height and physical strength makes him a large threat in the box too.

Get him quick!

Roberto Piccoli looks like a talented striker. Though he’s only made 2 appearances for the Atalanta senior team, signing him now before he ‘bursts onto the scene’ could make him a good signing for a cheap price. Though with the number of clubs interested in him, Atalanta could command a higher fee…

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