Saturday August 4 2018
Can the Rooster crow once more?

As Andrea Belotti is linked with a move to Napoli, Giancarlo Rinaldi wonders if the Torino striker can rediscover his form of 2016-17.

A year is a long time in football. The superstars of 12 months ago can easily find themselves on the scrapheap, such is the chew them up and spit them out nature of the game. If anyone in Serie A knows how quickly your stock can rise and fall right now, it is probably Andrea Belotti.

Last summer, Torino seemed likely to accept a big money offer - most likely from the Premier League - for one of the few genuinely appetising prospects the Italian game had to offer. His physical style and never-say-die attitude endeared him to both the Granata support and a more global audience. Most of the usual reservations about translatable skills from the world of Calcio seemed to be unnecessary with him. Here was a lion-hearted hitman who would bang in the goals wherever he went.

Except, of course, the move never happened.

Suddenly, the bulldozer seemed to stall as injury turned him from a star for club and country to a much more sporadic scorer. He cut a forlorn figure - like most of his Azzurri teammates - in their desperate and doomed efforts to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

Even on league duty with Toro, he seemed to have lost his mojo. His traditional rooster celebration became an increasingly rare sight. For most other 24-year-old strikers playing outside Italy’s biggest sides a return of 10 league goals would be eminently respectable but when you struck 26 the season before it starts to look a little bit paltry.

Those horrible words - one season wonder - have started to be bandied about but that all seems a little bit hasty. Belotti’s style was always one that relied on being in top physical shape and he was quite clearly rarely in that kind of condition last season. It would surely be unfair to judge him too harshly and also, with most of his career still ahead of him, a little foolish to do so.

Indeed, there should really be clubs looking at him as an intriguing “buy low” prospect now that his stock has sunk. If rumours are to be believed Napoli are keen to sign him this summer, and that could prove a shrewd move by the Partenopei.

Even though he may never scale the heights he once did, he could still be a highly productive striker at a very high level. A reduced price tag might make him more attractive to the astute purchaser rather than the crazy figures being thrown about not so long ago.

The truth about Belotti is probably that he was not the superhero he appeared for a glorious spell last year but neither is he the no-hoper some have been keen to dismiss him as. We like our judgements snappy nowadays but there is still plenty of time for him to justify the hype or, at the very least, carve out a good career.

Early pre-season signs have been good and that can only be to the player and Torino’s benefit. He himself has stressed that the most important thing for him is to play regularly rather than be a bench-warmer at some bigger club where they often snap up players in order to avoid letting them go to their rivals. That’s no longer as much of a concern at Napoli, now Maurizio Sarri and his lack of rotation have departed for Chelsea.

Can he shine again? Perhaps not to the impressive levels he once achieved but he still surely has the potential to drag himself back up those Serie A goalscoring charts or sparkle in some other league. Those who like their verdicts immediate may have dismissed him already, but there is surely still life in the old rooster yet.

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Have your say...
Considering the injury, Bellotti still did good last season with 10+ goals. However, it couldn’t be denied that with huge expectation after 28 goals season, he started to tremble under pressure, especially when u see his performance in Italy NT. He has to step up. If there is really an offer from Napoli, he should take it and be ready to compete with Milik.
Sadly i doubt ADL would invest more than €50m.

Don’t go outside italy or risk end up like Immobile, top striker but weak mentally.
on the 5th August, 2018 at 6:41pm
Tuvieja.... Do you even watch football? In what universe is Immobile a one hit wonder? Debate his quality all you want, but he's had three years with 20+ goals....including two seasons in a row.
on the 5th August, 2018 at 3:09pm

Ronaldo creates a lot of revenue and in a nutshell pays for himself!

He sells 2 football jerseys every minute of the day!

Mega huge, bumper sales are expected for Christmas, when millions of kids worldwide will ask their parents to buy them Ronaldo/Juventus related goods!
on the 5th August, 2018 at 7:03am
"Premier Lague"

Lol. Maybe a fitting name.
on the 4th August, 2018 at 7:23pm
This guy is another one hit wonder like Immobile. Dont see how he can replicate again that form, but I am hugely surprised by the fact that Cairo is thinking about selling him for 50m, when last year he was playing hard ball with Milan, asking 100m. Still, it is better 50-60 now than 20-30 next year when his performances can be even worse.
on the 4th August, 2018 at 6:40pm
It wasn't only injuries that affected his performances last season. The whole team struggled to play as well as they did the season before and Mihajlovic was subsequently given the boot. Belotti wasn't getting as many chances, and when he did, he was snatching at them.

Perhaps a move would do him the world of good, and like ITA 1 said, having a supporting cast like the players at Napoli could not only see him reaching the levels of 2016/17, but possibly exceeding them.
on the 4th August, 2018 at 4:24pm
For me this move is a no brainer, Belotti was a force of nature the season he scored 26 goals and with his fitness back there's not reason why he cant be a 20 goal a season striker fora top tier team.

Last season he had the carrot of a dream move to his boyhood heroes Milan, this coupled with his injury at the start of the season is enough to throw a young player off.

He would have a better quality of supply at Napoli also. I could see him linking up with Insigne and Mertens well.
on the 4th August, 2018 at 4:11pm
considering how suborn torino has been over belotti price tag i can't see how 50 million euros is going to be enough to get the player. cavani is obviously the better player this guy is a 30 goal a season striker

as for belotti i don't see why he can't have a good season even carrying a injury last season he scored 13 goals, his quality will show though in the end. I think he has what it takes to be a 20 goals a season striker as long as he stays at a team which suits his best qualities.
on the 4th August, 2018 at 1:54pm
Napoli could do worse.

Cavani would be ideal, at least for the short term, but his fee, wages and age pose a problem.

Belotti could do really well at Napoli, with Mertens, Insigne, Callejon and Verdi supplying him.

It would mean one of Milik or Inglese would need to be sold or loaned out.

Perhaps an expensive loan with option to buy would suit both Torino and Napoli.
on the 4th August, 2018 at 12:45pm
It's never east to recapture on-form performance after injuries, only few manage to do it.
Andrea should stay with Torino for at least one more season before moving forward.
on the 4th August, 2018 at 12:33pm

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