Tottenham Face This Stumbling Block In Pursuit Of Serie A Ace: What Should Be Pochettino’s Play?

In a recent press conference (via Calciomercato), AS Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi ruled out a summer departure of Nicolo Zaniolo when he said, “I take this opportunity to say that when I appreciated Zaniolo with all the affection of this world to return to the tracks if he had left, it was immediately said that Petrachi put Zaniolo up for sale.

“This is not true.

“I have to work to try to get the best out of Zaniolo.

“I am also a very practical person, I have direct contact with my players.

“I never put Zaniolo up for sale, nor did I say it was on the market.

“The market is full of pitfalls, but today Zaniolo is not on the market.”

Tottenham Hotspur have already attempted to sign the Italian midfielder earlier this summer (via Corriere Dello Sport). However, they have failed to agree on a deal with Roma thus far. Thus, Petrachi’s recent update will be a hammer blow to Spurs’ chances of landing the talented midfield ace in this off-season.

The 20-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in Italian football and is destined to have a bright career in Europe. The Massa-born wonderkid came through the youth ranks of Fiorentina before he joined Entella as a teenager in the summer of 2016. He went on to play for Inter Milan before his big move to AS Roma last summer.

Zaniolo has made a total of 27 appearances in the Serie A, scoring four goals while grabbing two assists so far. He has also represented Italy in two international matches but is yet to open his goal-scoring account for his nation.

What Are The Italian Youngster’s Strengths And Weaknesses? 

Zaniolo has decent pace in his locker, which enables him to make some clever runs in the opposition half. The Italian starlet can also contribute by scoring a few goals and assists as evidenced by his record last season.

But he has still got a lot to learn before he is ready to play regularly at the highest level. The Roma whizkid needs to work on his upper body strength at the gym and has to be more clinical in the final third if he wants to succeed in European football.

What Should Be Pochettino’s Play?

Spurs might be better off opting for more proven players during this ongoing window if they are to bridge the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League standings next season. Zaniolo might be an excellent acquisition for them in the long-run, but he is not ready to make an impact in English football just yet. Thus, Mauricio Pochettino should give up his pursuit of the Italian prospect and concentrate on strengthening other essential areas of his squad.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.