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Sunday February 26 2017
Magnificent Gagliardini

Roberto Gagliardini’s rise to the top has contributed to an Inter turnaround and Richard Hall trusts he can do the same for Italy.

Roberto Gagliardini has certainly had an incredible rise in the past year, as he made the step up from Atalanta to Inter in January. This has also seen him included in the Azzurri squad for the first time and with nicknames such as ‘The Italian Pogba’ being thrown about, much is expected, but is he ready?

When you look at the Nazionale’s midfield and identify that Daniele De Rossi and Marco Parolo have both seen better days, the attention quickly turns to Marco Verratti. The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder has already cemented his name in the middle of the pitch, but there is now another partner for him. Gagliardini is quickly proving at Inter that with his skill sets, he could either deputise or even play alongside the 24-year-old in a duo that could represent the future of the national team.

Gagliardini is a product of the famed Atalanta youth system and started to fulfil some of his great potential in the opening part of the season. So much, that he was courted by Juventus, but it was the Milanese club that acted quickly in securing his signature. He openly admits that he was happy in Bergamo and hadn’t even thought of a move away, but was happy to come and ply his trade at San Siro.

The Nerazzurri certainly paid for potential, splitting the €28m cost into three instalments. It was €2m for the loan until June 2018, €23m hereafter and up to €3m bonuses. In context, this seemed to be a large sum of money for a player who hadn’t seen that much action in Serie A. With loan spells at Cesena, Spezia and Vicenza under his belt, the 22-year-old finally made his first team debut in May 2016 and after only nine appearances he saw himself called up by Gian Piero Ventura.

His influence for Inter has been immediate, as he has slotted straight into the midfield role and given Stefano Pioli’s side a balance they had lacked before. He has developed into a metronome, receiving the ball and distributing it quickly, often starting offensive moves from a deep position. This box to box mentality shows off his industry, finesse and ability to do the simple things well, allowing players like Joao Mario to flourish even more.

Admittedly he isn’t the quickest player, but he doesn’t need to be and he, by his own admission, is working hard to be more clinical and bring goals to his game.

It is this desire to improve his creative and offensive side that could make him an ideal man to play alongside Verratti in Ventura’s Azzurri squad. Both players can defend and distribute the ball incredibly well and the fact that the national team would have two players who could both ‘hold and go’ would be of benefit for the wing-backs, giving them an unpredictable creative threat. As Gagliardini’s season with Inter develops, it is almost certain that his tactical knowledge and ability to play at a high level will improve. The speed of his transition into the Nerazzurri squad has already displayed how quickly he can adapt and integrate into new surroundings of greater quality.

The future is bright for the Azzurri and Gagliardini is one of the shining lights. Few times have players with so little experience made such an impact and fitted so quickly in to one of Serie A’s biggest teams. His maturity and ability outweigh his tender years. He is a player who could slot in alongside almost any other style of midfielder, as his greatest asset is to move the ball from defence to attack with speed.

He has much to work on, although it is more a case of polishing yet another diamond from Bergamo.

Have your say...
he seems to be a great talent with lots of potential. with proper grooming he may become a top midfielder both for Inter and Italy.
on the 6th March, 2017 at 5:02pm
fantastic player. first season in serie a and straight into Inter lineup??? if he keeps develepin only the sky is the limit.. great job inter
on the 3rd March, 2017 at 8:30pm
He hasn't looked as good in Piolis 3-4-3 / 3-4-2-1 formations. Neither has Joao. Piopli needs to wake up and go back to the 4-2-3-1 ffs
on the 3rd March, 2017 at 12:09am
@Chalon: very funny this. I thought he was magnificient", turnt out "2 more years" in your book. Very funny indeed. I've seen a lot of young players thought to be great "next season" after several eye catching performances. That "next season" never came, it's called one-season-wonder. Kondogbia, how long has he been there? And Joao Mario? Gagliardini was brutally exposed in his first big game. He was a naive sheep against Roma's midfielders. Your blurb is pathetic, he is far from magnificient
on the 1st March, 2017 at 3:58pm
The best formation for the Azzurri right now looks like a 4-2-3-1.
Who would be best to play alongside Verratti in the holding midfield role? I don't think we can count on Galgiardini just yet. If Marchisio is healthy, I think it has to be him. Anybody have any other suggestions for the holding midfielder role?
on the 28th February, 2017 at 9:13pm
He looks promising, but I'd still start with Verratti, Marchisio, & DDR - he may be getting on a bit, but he's still exceptional and is looking fitter (& less injury prone) than I've seen him in a long time. I'm really excited about the future of the Azzurri. we have many options in all positions and talented youngsters appear to be emerging on a weekly basis.
on the 27th February, 2017 at 11:57pm
@Jake And what do you know. Look at this guys ages. Wait 2 years and those 3 players you just scoffed at will form an amazing midfield. And hopefully you come back to this page so I can throw it in your face.
on the 27th February, 2017 at 6:22pm
At fault for both of Roma's goals. Magnificent alright.
Only incompetent clubs like Inter pay 45 million for joao mario, 40 million for kondogbia and 25 million for the gagliardinis of the world.
on the 26th February, 2017 at 10:20pm
Is the writer serious ?? Hahahahaha, magnificient based on WHAT ?? That he made a step neither-up-nor-down from Atlanta to Inter ?? Unless this writer thinks Inter are world-beaters and top 5 club in the world this season as well as the past 5 years (psst, they've been terrible), there's nothing home to write about this guy or Inter. By the ridiculous logic of this blog, Caldara is the new Gianni Rivera because he managed an impressive brace against the Barcelona of Italy, Napoli.
on the 26th February, 2017 at 7:43pm
Funny to see people calling home "overrated". What is this based on? This is his first season and he really has been magnificent thus far. For Atalanta and now for Inter. Based on this one season the writer is 100% correct. Call him overrated a few seasons from now if his performances drop. Not now. Forza Gagliardini. Forza La Nazionale.
on the 26th February, 2017 at 5:29pm
Haters everywhere. The guy has so much potential and has seamlessly started off on the right foot. Hope he gets there :)
on the 26th February, 2017 at 4:57pm
I've seen quite a lot of young players like him. 1/10 of them grew up to half of what people thought they could have been, many others faded into the shade. Gargliardini had some decent performances, that's all. "Magnificient" is way too much of exaggeration. Let's see how he copes with the pressure to deliver every match. It's the difference between great players and those not so great.
on the 26th February, 2017 at 2:43pm
Simply overrated...
on the 26th February, 2017 at 11:33am
Class player and kudos for Pioli to insist on him! He reminds me of Frank Lampard, and he definitely gets into good positions to score, every single game he's had one or two very good chances (so many heading opportunities!) to score and screws it up... when he calms down in front of goal he's going to be hitting 10 goals a season! He has woken the whole Inter midfield up, everyone is playing better because of his positional sense... I would love to see Kessie to team up in the middle!
on the 26th February, 2017 at 10:03am

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