Sunday July 30 2017
Belotti better at Torino

In a World Cup year and after just one real starring Serie A season, Andrea Belotti would do well to stay at Torino, argues Billy Wilkinson.

Torino are in a very odd place. They’re stuck in a limbo between being the best of the mid-table Serie A teams and not quite being good enough to break into the top seven. However, that doesn’t mean Andrea Belotti wouldn’t be better off staying put.

In today’s age of obscene transfer fees, all it takes is for a player to thrive one season and he’s off the next summer. This is Il Gallo’s first real term as a bona fide top striker in Serie A, and he was slapped with a €100m release clause and rumoured bids of €70m.

It’s easy to see why 23-year-old already seemingly at the top of his game would want to move to London, Manchester or San Siro to seek a bigger pay packet. However, it would be in his and Torino’s best interests to stall any move.

First of all, he’s the main guy in Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side, as Torino’s whole game plan is based around how he likes to play. There’s no better place for him to develop, as he’s going to take the majority of shots (he takes 25 per cent of all of Torino’s efforts) and be the first pass in the penalty area.

Another season of the team being centred around him can’t be detrimental to his development. The Stadio Grande Torino also provides the perfect environment to grow without undue pressure or urgency.

This is a far cry from the pressure cooker of Milan this season, or what would have been at Manchester United or Chelsea. A couple of wrong steps, and potential fans could have been on Belotti’s back about his mistakes. Add on the media pressure, a hefty price-tag he didn’t even ask for, and his career path could become somewhat doubtful.

This is a World Cup year and Belotti has learned from his Italy teammate Ciro Immobile that leaving Toro after one great season is a risky tactic. The Granata have shown their ability to nurture talent and coax remarkable performances from strikers, so leaving before the apprenticeship is up would be unwise. One more year won’t hurt.

Last season was a bit of a rocky one for Toro, with a number of vital players leaving, such as Nikola Maksimovic, Kamil Glik and Bruno Peres. Mihajlovic did okay at first, but with a centre-back partnership of Emiliano Moretti and Luca Rossettini, it doesn’t feel like this team is going anywhere.

Breaking into the Europa League places seems unlikely for a team that conceded 66 goals last year and hasn’t really upgraded defensively this summer. Adem Ljajic and Iago Falque form a fantastic trio with Belotti up front, but the 48 goals between them don’t mean much when your defence give goals away like confetti.

Once again, this links back to how Torino benefit Belotti. Whilst the XI beyond the front three will harm Torino’s chances of European football, he benefits the most from playing in it.

He’s sure to move next summer, the fun part of the transfer market will be figuring out where, but right now Belotti would be wise to stay in Turin. In modern football, it’s tempting to take the short-cut, but he’s better off sticking to the more reliable route.

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Have your say...
Another season at Torino benefits because it is World Cup year and continuity is key for him and Italy.

Torino would stand to benefit if a windfall of 80MM can then be re-invested in squad development. I do not think they are a million miles behind Lazio and Fiorentina as a first XI.

Torino have already upgraded in goal with Sirigu, the likes of Barreca, Zappacosta, Benassi, Baselli, Lukic, Ljajic and Iago Falque form a good team. CB upgrades and a CF replacement for 80MM? Very realistic.
on the 31st July, 2017 at 5:03pm
I hope Milan spends another 100 million they don't have on Belotti, because he will be garbage like every other Torino player that left for bigger clubs. Cerci, Immobile, Darmian, etc.
on the 31st July, 2017 at 12:32pm
How a mediocre club like Torino may be better for him? A big club is what he needs to consolidate him as a top player. Anyway, if he is not up to ask for a departure to a bigger team, and Cairo is not willing to sell for a reasonable price, then the loss is in him. If he does not deliver this season, Belotti and Torino lost a lot. Let's see
on the 30th July, 2017 at 10:24pm
The only way to better is to play among players better than you. Is that more likely to be at Torino or a club with better pedigree? His move is inevitable, if not this summer, maybe next, or the one after that. It doesn't have to be Milan of course, but it needs to be a club better than Torino by a mile so that Belotti elevates his game to another level. IMO.
on the 30th July, 2017 at 9:24pm
It is not like italy really have a alternative as good as belotti up front so i fail to see no getting as much game time would hurt his chances. Still better to have a inform striker who is consistently playing for their respective club. It is honestly ridiculous how over inflated the market is at the moment some of the deals going through are simply jaw dropping i would question how long this state of affairs could last. Torino could struggle to find a club willing to pay 80 million euros.
on the 30th July, 2017 at 7:50pm
It is indeed a limbo. Belotti staying can only benefit the national team. Practically, he would be in an environment he's already used to. Allowing him to have another decent season, and be the main striker at the world cup. On the other hand, how many players get the chance to play for a top club and especially one that they support? Sometimes, you only get one chance. Next summer, he might not be Milan's top target, even if he has another good season. The price tag though is ludicrous.
on the 30th July, 2017 at 4:21pm

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