In Italian soccer, Gianluca Scamacca is the name of the moment. The 23-year-old Sassuolo striker has attracted interest from several big Italian and European clubs that are looking for a young goal scorer for the next decade. He’s definitely one to watch, and Italy coach Roberto Mancini knows it. The coach of the Italian national team is very careful about calling in young players that struggle to find minutes at their respective clubs. Scamacca was one of them, and he was nearly called in for last summer’s UEFA Euro 2020. Mancini is now counting on him for the new cycle after Italy failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup and included him in the list for recent UEFA Nations League’s games. At Sassuolo, he’s one of the key players, and the club knows really well that his market value increased last season after scoring 16 goals in 36 matches in the 2021-22 Serie A season. He’s got a bright future ahead, but that development starts with what happened at the beginning of his career.
Scamacca, from Rome, started off his youth career between AS Roma and Lazio but then suddenly changed countries and moved to the Netherlands, joining PSV as a youth player. The Dutch club is renowned for helping develop young talent, and Scamacca was able to find his footing there. A defining moment for his development, he wanted to try something different compared to his fellow Italian teammates. Sassuolo noticed him and decided to bring him back to Italy in January of 2017, and one year later, the Italian club loaned him out to Cremonese and then to the Dutch side PEC Zwolle. Despite some difficulties, he started to show his real talent when he moved on loan to Ascoli in the Italian Serie B during the season 2019-20, scoring nine goals in 33 matches. The following season Sassuolo opted to loan him again, in Serie A this time, and he proved to be a serious striker at Genoa where he scored eight goals in 26 Serie A games. Last season he was back at Sassuolo, despite the interest of multiple clubs.
Last season’s production
Sassuolo know how to manage young players, and they decided to count on him to play alongside Giacomo Raspadori, another incredible Italian talent. Scamacca scored 16 goals in 36 matches (11.49 xG and 46.8% of shots on goal) and became a target for several clubs around Europe. The question now is which club will go for him in the summer considering the high evolution of the player. Sassuolo asked for around 40 million euros to sell him in the summer, but reports suggest that this value has increased already since Paris Saint Germain inquired with his club asking for around 50 million euros.
The Sassuolo striker is definitely a player that can be flexible in terms of positioning on the pitch. He’s the kind of player that moves around the attacking area and also can play in different tactical systems. At Sassuolo, he’s already played as the only number nine, but he also played alongside Raspadori, who played a little behind him. The feeling is that he can also improve quite a lot and his development is only at the beginning stages, but he has all the qualities he needs to become an important striker.
“He is very strong but also very good from a technical point of view,” former Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi told Sportitalia. “Physically, he is a center forward, but he has the technique not only as a center forward. He also knows how to sew up the game and show up.”
Scamacca has also a very strong character and some people affirm that one of his flaws might be his temper, even though he’s managed it well as of late.
Sassuolo definitely consider him one of their jewels on the market, alongside Raspadori, Davide Frattesi and Domenico Berardi. Neroverdi’s director, Giovanni Carnevali, knows how the transfer market works really well, and he has always said that many clubs were eyeing him for the future. Last summer, when Scamacca came back from the Genoa loan, Italian clubs such as Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan all asked about his situation, but Sassuolo’s requests (around 30 million euros) turned them away … temporarily.
This summer things are definitely different, and his value has increased again. Italian clubs are still interested but with fewer chances to get their hands on him for the price, while clubs like PSG and Arsenal are among the ones reported to be interested in the player.
“[PSG advisor] Luis Campos is a friend of mine, we also met at the Champions League final. We talked about many players, but certainly, Scamacca was the topic of the conversation,” Carnevali said. “I think he’s an interesting player for many clubs”.
It will be interesting to see what’s next. Despite potential moves to clubs such as PSG or Arsenal, a more moderate transfer might be best, joining a club where he can grow with less pressure. Also, a place where he can start to play regularly in a different league with different tactical and physical conditions could serve him well. Overall, the only thing we are sure about is that we will hear his name for a long time. He’s only at the beginning of what can be a great career, and before long he’ll likely be showing what he can do at a big club with even bigger ambitions.