One positive to come out of Italy’s disastrous Confederations Cup adventure was the emergence of Giuseppe Rossi. Having been on the fringes of the Azzurri squad for some months, he finally made his breakthrough against the nation of his birth, putting himself firmly in the shop window this summer.
Having begun his career in the youth team at Parma, he quickly caught the attention of Manchester United, who took him to England as a 17 year old. After spending a successful spell in the reserves, he was loaned to Newcastle United, where he only made five starts. His old club Parma took an interest in the forward, deep in a relegation battle and in need of goals, Rossi joined the Tardini outfit in January 2007, and scoring 9 goals in 19 appearances, helping them avoid relegation.
On his return to Old Trafford it become clear he would not be guaranteed first team football and Sir Alex Ferguson, recognising this allowed Rossi to leave for Villarreal for around £7 million. But aware of his potential and ability a buy back clause was reportedly inserted into the deal.
During his first season in Spain, the potential that was bubbling under the surface at Old Trafford finally made its way to the surface. Twenty-three starts, five substitute appearances returned eleven goals and three assists. His performances were exceptional and a keen eye for goal demonstrated as he lead the front line during his first season with the Yellow Submarine, helping them qualify for the Champions League.
This season Rossi has progressed even more 12 goals and 7 assists in La Liga, plus 3 goals in the Champions League. His international career also blossomed, top scorer in the Olympics with four goals in four games, whilst also making his debut for the Azzurri against Bulgaria in October.
His rise has been rapid with his first goal for the Azzurri coming against Northern Ireland in June, another two were added against the USA, his country of birth in the 2009 Confederations Cup. One of the few positives to come out of Italy’s disastrous campaign.
I would advocate for the inclusion of the youngster in the Azzurri first team from now on, he brings a verve and tenacity the other forwards do not possess, he is not afraid to have a shot from long range, as his goals against Northern Ireland and USA are testament. One criticism of his game may be his lack of predatory instinct in the penalty area, though his finishing ability is fantastic.
It is these performances that have brought him to the attention of various clubs in and around the peninsula. Juventus have been mooted as a possible destination, but Rossi has expressed his desire to play for Milan. However, one team who could put a spanner in the works are former side Manchester United, after losing Tevez and Ronaldo, they may find the replacement is a player they know very well. Although he has expressed a desire to return to Italy, I feel SIr Alex Ferguson is a keen admirer and would love to have him back, but only time will tell.