Scouting Report: Is Juventus' Valladolid Loanee Fausto Rossi a Future Star?

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Scouting Report: Is Juventus' Valladolid Loanee Fausto Rossi a Future Star?
Israel L. Murillo

Remember Fausto Rossi? He is still on the books of Juventus and has been on loan at La Liga club Real Valladolid, so here is a scouting report on the 23-year-old Italian midfielder. 

 

Positives

Rossi was a 17-year-old when he was called up by then-Juventus manager Claudio Ranieri for the Bianconeri's UEFA Champions League match against Real Madrid in 2008, per UEFA.com

Rossi had a front-row seat on the Juve bench inside the Santiago Bernabeu as he watched Alessandro Del Piero earn a standing ovation from the Real supporters with a brace. 

Fast forward to 2014, Rossi is resurrecting his career at Valladolid, having played 27 league games (22 starts, five substitute appearances) so far. 

Valladolid manager Juan Ignacio Martinez has deployed Rossi as a central midfielder in a 4-4-2 and a defensive midfielder in a 4-2-3-1. 

Source: Marca.com.

When Valladolid beat Barcelona 1-0, Martinez started Rossi on the right wing, to give Valladolid right-back Antonio Rukavina added insurance in dealing with Barca left forward Neymar.

Source: Marca.com and UEFA.com.

Several months earlier, Rossi's fellow Juve loanee Richmond Boakye thought he had scored a dramatic late-equaliser in Elche's 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid.

Boakye's goal was overshadowed by referee Cesar Muniz wrongly giving Real a penalty, to which Real left forward Cristiano Ronaldo converted for a 96th-minute winner, per Sid Lowe at The Guardian.

Well, Rossi topped Boakye's effort and did what Alexis Sanchez, Cesc FabregasCristian TelloLionel Messi and Pedro didn't do—score. 

Rossi snuck in from the left wing—the opposite flank of where he was supposed to be—to score a goal with Filippo Inzaghi-esque opportunism.

Source: LigaBBVA.com.
Source: LigaBBVA.com.

The left wing is symbolic for Rossi.

Around six years ago, he repeatedly ran at then-Inter Milan right-back Maicon in a pre-season game. 

For a teenager to show up a pre-Gareth Bale traumatised Maicon meant Rossi was set for a big future at Juve

In hindsight, his performance vs. Maicon was like Manuel Giandonato's free-kick against Manchester United: a one-hit wonder. 

Instead of being a dynamic match-winner out wide, Rossi has transitioned into a Claudio Marchisio-lite midfielder.

Rossi is a team-first and tenacious player, which was illustrated when he threw his body at a drilled shot from Sevilla left forward Vitolo, in the process blocking it during Valladolid's 2-2 draw against Sevilla.

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Rossi is productive on the defensive side: 70 tackles and 47 interceptions in 27 league games. 

He is a threat to win back the ball and launch a counter-attack.

This was the case when he intercepted Rayo Vallecano central attacking midfielder Jonathan Viera's pass and proceeded to unlock Rayo's defence with a through ball to Valladolid centre-forward Javi Guerra during Valladolid's 3-0 win over Rayo

Source: LigaBBVA.com.
Source: LigaBBVA.com.

From a passing perspective, you can still see Rossi's attack-driven instincts as 71.3 percent of his passes go forward, per Squawka.com

Source: Squawka.com.

There were shades of Andrea Pirlo when Rossi pinged an accurate long ball to then-Valladolid right-winger Patrick Ebert in Valladolid's 3-0 win over Rayo

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Yes, Rayo have the worst defensive record in La Liga (68 goals conceded in 31 games).

But keep in mind, Rossi also completed a superlative chipped pass to Guerra in Valladolid's 3-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid, a team with the best defensive record in La Liga (22 goals conceded in 31 games).

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

 

Negatives

Rossi is more of an all-round midfielder than teammates Alvaro Rubio and Victor Perez.

However, the latter two are less-risk averse than Rossi, who at times loses the ball at inopportune moments. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Rossi should not be turning the ball over 26.1 percent of the time he passes. It swells to 42 percent when he attempts long passes. 

Rubio (80.6) and Perez (78.7) are more accurate passers than Rossi (73.9).

Like his passing, Rossi goes full tilt when tackling.

He is prone to yellow cards (leads Valladolid in bookings; nine), and he has had games where he leaves gaping holes by missing tackles. 

  • 4/8 tackles (50 success percent) vs. Celta Vigo (3-0 win), per Squawka.com.
  • 3/9 tackles (33.3 success percent) vs. Granada (4-0 defeat), per Squawka.com.
  • 1/7 tackles (14.3 success percent) vs. Rayo (1-1 draw), per Squawka.com

Source: Squawka.com.
Source: Squawka.com.
Source: Squawka.com.

 

Bottom Line

The pertinent question is: What do Juventus do with Rossi?

At 23 years of age, he still has sizeable holes in his game, therefore he needs regular starts. 

"I am happy at Valladolid and would like to stay with them,Rossi said, per Rai Sport (h/t Football Italia). "At the moment I have a contract with Juventus and am here on loan with an option to buy."

Rossi is good enough to be a squad player at Juve, but the best career move for him is to stay at Valladolid, a club which was a stepping stone for Aritz Aduriz, Cesar Sanchez, Diego Costa, Ebert, Fernando Hierro, Gabriel Heinze, et al

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.com.

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