Nicolo Zaniolo

Nicolo Zaniolo
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Nicolo Zaniolo

Current Club: AS Roma

Previous Clubs: Inter Milan, Entella, Fiorentina, Genoa

Loan Clubs: N/A

International: Italy 7 caps 2 goals

Trophies Won: Italian Supercoppa 2017/18

Currently out with an ACL injury, so there is a possibility that he does not come back to the level he had before the injury. With him being just 21, there is plenty of time for him to return to it though and, probably, improve. But this profile will have to deal with what he was prior to the injury, rather than what he is right now.

Zaniolo had good pace, not great, but has a tendency to try to use it to run past opponents, despite not being pacey enough to get away from them and having a heavy touch, which often led to him losing the ball. One thing that disappointed me was his seeming inability to learn within the game, for example he faced up against Ake, who is quicker than him, and kept trying to knock it past him and run away from the Dutchman.

It was never going to work and just led to him losing the ball most of the time, not once did he have success with it. From what I have seen, it stems from a tendency to try and force things to happen, to do too much on the ball, rather than looking to move it on to others in a better position.

When he does pass, he shows good vision and passing range, but is often loose with his passing or tries to play the Hollywood pass that is not on. On the few times Zaniolo did play it quick and short, looking for a link up with a team-mate, he showed good movement, but he usually just tries too hard.

On the ball he does show good strength in tight areas and shields the ball using his body well, but then Zaniolo tends to dither before playing a pass, giving the opposition time to get back and fill in the gaps he had created with his turn. But it is a real sign of promise, if he can just improve his awareness and so know where to pass immediately on getting into space.

Defensively is what worries with him, I know Zaniolo is an attacking midfielder, but a lack of awareness means he is next to useless defensively. He was constantly caught ball watching and it was particularly noticeable when he played on the right, as the opposing left-back was past him and into a dangerous area while Zaniolo was chasing him five yards or so behind.

Watching Zaniolo made me believe that his lack of defensive awareness and his inability to play a quick pass after making a quick turn is connected. He does not look around enough to get a view of the pitch around him and be able to make quick decisions or to notice that his man has run off the back of him.

He spends far too much time focused on watching the ball, rather than checking the rest of the pitch. It is something he needs to work on, as the best midfielders have a picture in their head of everything around them, because they are constantly looking around to see where everyone is.

Requested by - Deependra


Written by Ed001 December 24 2020 08:58:58