Arsenal

Scouting Report: Could Marco Parolo Be Aaron Ramsey's Backup at Arsenal?

Italy's Marco Parolo controls a ball as Uruguay's Jose Maria Gimenez, left, and  Maxi Pereira watch him, during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Antonio Calanni/Associated Press
Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJune 25, 2014

Could Parma's Italian international Marco Parolo—a 29-year-old, 6'1", 181-pound central midfielder—be signed by Arsenal as Aaron Ramsey's backup?

To cover that hypothetical, this article grades Parolo's performance in Italy's 1-0 defeat to Uruguay at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and provides a scouting report on his season with Parma.

 

Parolo vs. Uruguay Grade: D

The decision from then-Italian national team manager Cesare Prandelli, who has since resigned, to sub out an injured Italian centre-forward Mario Balotelli for Parolo was a conservative and unimaginative tactical ploy. 

FIFA.com

Parolo tracked back covering 1,283 more metres than Balotelli, per FIFA.com, whose only notable moment was kneeing Uruguay left wing-back Alvaro Pereira.

FIFA.com

Balotelli and his strike partner Ciro Immobile were out of sync, therefore Parolo's box-to-box running would offer Italy a different attacking dimension. 

HuffingtonPost.com

Though, instead of being Prandelli's trump card, Parolo had to shelve his late surging runs once Claudio Marchisio was sent off harshly.

FIFA.com

Parolo was unable to express himself under the circumstances of Italy shutting up shop.

He ended up doing a job in midfield in a game remembered for Uruguay deep-lying forward Luis Suarez capitulating to his inner demons once again

 

Parolo Parma Positives

PARMA, ITALY - APRIL 06:  Marco Parolo of Parma FC celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between Parma FC and SSC Napoli at Stadio Ennio Tardini on April 6, 2014 in Parma, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
League OnlyAaron RamseyMarco Parolo
Games 2336
Goals108
Shots Per Goal5.010.3
Assists86
Key Passes Per Game1.41.2
Tackles Per Game3.33.6
Fouls Per Game1.21.9
Tackles Per Foul2.91.9
Interceptions Per Game1.01.6

Parolo possesses a smooth shooting motion like scoring a free-kick past AC Milan goalkeeper Gabriel. 

LegaSerieA.it

Liverpool's Napoli loanee Pepe Reina had no chance in stopping Parolo's powerfully hit curled shot. 

LegaSerieA.it

Parolo rocketed a shot past Hellas Verona goalkeeper Rafael.

LegaSerieA.it

Being an all-round midfielder, Parolo is a dual threat scoring and creating goals. 

This was illustrated with a smart angled pass to Inter Milan's Parma loanee Ezequiel Schelotto and getting out wide to make an incisive pass to Parma deep-lying forward Antonio Cassano.

LegaSerieA.it

LegaSerieA.it

In addition, Parolo is an excellent defender, winning back possession 5.2 times per game. 

 

Parolo Parma Negatives

ROME, ITALY - MARCH 30:  Marco Parolo of Parma FC shows his dejection during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and Parma FC at Stadio Olimpico on March 30, 2014 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Prior to last season, Parolo scored nine goals and registered three assists in his previous 104 Serie A games.

Has he peaked after his career-best season when he scored eight times and created six goals?

Could Parolo be another Francesco Lodi?

Dominating in midfield for CataniaLodi earned a move to Genoa, but was a transfer bust. 

Since returning to Catania, he has not recovered his 2011-12 to 2012-13 form.

A big concern is Parolo's inability to consistently take the ball past opposing players.

Squawka.com

Parolo averaged 0.3 dribbles per game and was unsuccessful 79 percent of the time he attempted a dribble, per Squawka.com.

It remains to be seen if he can transition his Serie A form to the Premier League, which is played at a higher tempo.

 

Bottom Line

Lazio are gunning for Parolo in the summer transfer window, per Football-Italia

Parma have negotiated a €5/£4 million transfer with Lazio subject to Parolo agreeing personal terms, per David Amoyal at GianlucaDiMarzio.com.

Therefore, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger needs to quickly decide if Parolo, who shoots, creates and tackles, can be a viable backup to Ramsey.

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.com

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