During what has been a truly horrendous season for Vincenzo Montella's Sampdoria, two players have stuck out from the rest: Eder and Roberto Soriano. The former moved to pastures new in the shape of Inter, but Soriano remains grounded and has to be a favourite to make the final 23-man squad in France.
Playing out most of his career thus far for the Blucerchiati, Soriano has been a key figure for both new Coach Montella and Azzurri boss Conte.
The rise has been a steady progress one could say, not hitting the heights many know him for until 2014, helping his club to a mid-table finish and also Europa League qualification the following campaign.
Soriano acts as a very versatile player, able to play as a second striker should he be needed to, but is usually more comfortable in an attacking midfield role or as centre-midfielder.
He was called up to the national side on November 2014 and continued his new found international playing days with seven appearances in 2015. Although he hasn't featured in 2016, Soriano brings a burst of pace and an eye for a through ball should Italy be trailing in one of their Group matches.
The 25-year-old has four assists so far this campaign alongside eight goals, making him Samp’s top scorer. With 21 shots on target he has over a one in three chance of finding the back of the net and also has a cosy 84 per cent pass accuracy rate.
Comparing this to his midfield compatriots such as Thiago Motta - 0 goals, Riccardo Montolivo - 0 goals and even Giacomo Bonaventura - six goals, he offers much more in terms of grabbing a goal as well as aiding his teammates. Only Motta out of the aforementioned players has a better passing accuracy of 92 per cent.
Despite these rather cosy statistics, it is hard to find a place for Soriano in Conte's starting XI. If the Coach elects for a 4-4-2, there is more chance Soriano would play alongside someone such as Claudio Marchisio, but with the latter's injury and comparing to a 3-5-2 or sometimes even a 3-4-3 style, there is little space for the Sampdoria playmaker.
His defensive duties are something he would have to work on, considering he is someone who is more likely to get forward than track back. This is why both Motta and Montolivo fit the position more, as they are more defence-minded. Bonaventura also offers play on the wing, something Soriano could master should he need to.
Overall there is no question that Soriano will make the final 23-man squad for Euro 2016, but in terms of wriggling his way into a starting position that remains to be seen.
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