Alfredo Donnarumma’s time has finally come. The 28-year-old can at last receive his Serie A debut after the step up was cruelly snatched from him last summer.
No relation to Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi, although they are both from the Naples area, Alfredo has come close to seeing it all in Italian football. Before Brescia, he had been at clubs like Salernitana, Teramo, Cittadella and Como, playing at multiple levels.
Donnarumma is a promotion specialist as he has been pivotal in the last two Serie B championship victories. Despite scoring 21 goals in 38 games for Empoli in the 2017-18 season, he was ditched by the Tuscans once they’d booked that ticket to the top flight and sold to Brescia.
Now Empoli are back down in Serie B and he’s done it again, setting a personal best with 25 goals in 32 matches to earn the Rondinelle promotion, but this time he’s clinging to the bandwagon. Can he follow in the footsteps of Brescia legend Dario Hubner and take the Capocannoniere title? It could be worth a flutter, and you can receive your bethard special offer with thebookiesoffers.co.uk.
Hailing from the same town as Ciro Immobile (Torre Annunziata), Donnarumma is a poacher in front of goal and is usually always there whenever Brescia need him. He has that nose for where the ball will drop and where the spaces lie for him to take up and tap the ball home - a quality that is in high demand anywhere in Europe.
Last season, Corini usually deployed a narrow 4-3-1-2 shape in which Donnarumma played up front with his strike partner Ernesto Torregrossa. The pair complemented each other very well, and while Torregrossa can also be used as a poacher, he is a better technician than Donnarumma. What better than a striker who can play (sometimes drop deep) and also stay right up there to snatch anything from the defenders’ noses? It’s no wonder Torregrossa got as many as 11 assists last season and scored 12 times, while Donnarumma mainly dealt with putting the ball past the goalkeeper.
That isn’t to say that Donnarumma is bad technically. He has played on the left-wing multiple times in his career and has done so at theLe Rondinelle too. But even when he is in that position in a 4-3-3 shape, Donnarumma is constantly running in behind and giving the centre-backs worries. He can easily be used as a wide-target man who can sit in the space between the full-back and centre-back.
At one stage last season, the Neapolitan had scored a goal every 76 minutes - a stat which was better than that of Fabio Quagliarella, Cristiano Ronaldo and Duvan Zapata. When the season ended, Donnarumma had a minutes per goal ratio of 104. That is still a very good number for any striker.
He may not be the tallest at 1.80m, but Donnarumma does have the muscle to stay on the ball and protect it. He isn’t the best at holding the ball up to bring others into play, but he thrives on being on the shoulder of the last defender and bursting his lungs while running after a loose ball like a warrior. It’s what will make him a fan favourite.
It is that hunger for goal that has brought Donnarumma this far in the Calcio pyramid and the journey isn’t over yet. With Torregrossa up front in that same 4-3-1-2 shape, Donnarumma can prove to be the surprise package from Serie B that bursts on to the top-flight stage.
Unlike Caputo, he is still young enough to make his mark and then earn a move to a bigger club.