Monday October 26 2020
Favilli: Verona’s unlikely hero


Andrea Favilli has Juventus in his destiny as his goal put Verona ahead against the Old Lady, the club that signed him twice, writes Lorenzo Bettoni.


Minute 54 of Juventus-Verona. Andrea Favilli replaces Nikola Kalinic who had made his first start of the season for the Giallublu. Six minutes later, the 23-year-old scores a close-range goal to put his side ahead against the Old Lady but he celebrates holding his injured leg and he is forced to leave the pitch one minute afterwards.

Arguably, it was impossible to have a bigger impact although both Verona and their unlucky striker have plenty of regrets for his early forfeit. Ivan Juric was forced to throw in Antonín Barák, a wide midfielder, playing the final 30 minutes of the game with Ebrima Colley as a sole striker. Not a real centre forward who
could help the visitors to ease Juventus’ pressure as Favilli would do while the Bianconeri were desperate to score two goals and snatch their second win in Serie A this season. Eventually, they could only score one with Dejan Kulusevsksi and manage to bring a point home.

Fair to say, Favilli has Juventus in his destiny somehow as the Old Lady signed him twice in his career. The first time was in 2015. He joined the Serie A giants on loan for 18 months with an option to buy. He went on to score 22 goals in 45 appearances with their Primavera team and even made his debut with the
senior team in 2016 when he replaced Alvaro Morata in the final minute of Juventus’ 2-0 away win to Frosinone. “A day I will never forget,” he wrote on Instagram the day after as he posted a picture while celebrating the victory alongside Alvaro Morata and Paul Pogba.


Un giorno che non dimenticherò mai #forzajuve

Un post condiviso da Andrea Favilli (@andreafav30) in data:

In the summer, however, the Serie A Champions failed to reach an agreement to sign him on a permanent deal. Livorno acquired him instead and loaned Favilli to Serie B side Ascoli where he scored 8 goals in 30 appearances. At the end of the season he was part of the Italy U20 squad that finished third at the U20 World Cup. He scored one goal and delivered three assists in seven games at the tournament and was the main striker of that team. The future looked bright for him but unfortunately something changed. Ascoli immediately signed him on a permanent €3m deal but his season ended early in November due to an
ACL tear.

Juventus believed in his talent and managed to sign him again on a permanent €7.5m deal in summer 2018 before loaning him out to Genoa. The Grifone had an option to buy worth €7m with Juve that could re-sign the player for €17m. In January, however, the two parties agreed that the Rossoblu would sign the player permanently at the end of the season with Juventus losing any kind of control over the player.

He spent two seasons at the Marassi, failing to impress, mainly because of injuries. After one goal in 28 appearances and missing a further 27 games due to physical issues, his ex-boss Ivan Juric decided to bring him to Verona and nine days after signing with the club he scored his first goal with the Scaligeri in a 1-0 win
against Udinese. He did it again against Juventus but an injury has once again put his development on hold.

“I hope Favilli’s injury is not too serious,” Juric said after the game at the Allianz Stadium.

“He hadn’t scored in two years, and now he has two in a row, one against Juve. He’s boosting his self-confidence and he needs everyone’s help.”

Hopefully, the injury won’t be serious and Favilli will get back on track soon trying to prove that he can have an impact in Italy’s top flight. On paper, he has everything to succeed. He’s a modern striker, with physical strength and knows how to sniff out a goal. As Juric said, he needs to boost his self confidence and
every striker can only do it by playing and scoring goals.

Juventus signed him twice over his career but technical and financial reasons led the Old Lady and Favilli to go their separate ways. Only time will say if the Bianconeri will regret their decisions. Certainly, injuries remain a big concern for one of Italy’s most promising strikers until few years ago. Favilli is still only
23 and has a whole career to prove his worth. If he does, he would dream about going back to Juventus for a third time.


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