Article by Wesley Davidson
Although he may have to wait another season to earn playing time for the Bianconeri, Juventus supporters will be hoping their side can hold onto Riccardo Orsolini, the promising left-footed winger who has turned heads while playing in Serie B. Orsolini was born on January 24th, 1997 in Rotella, a small town in the province of Ascoli Piceno in the eastern Italian region of Marche. A product of theAscoli youth system, the 20-year-old had a breakout season in 2015-16, finding the back of the net 17 times in 21 appearances for Ascoli’s Primavera squad. Such a remarkable scoring rate earned him a spot in the senior squad for the second half of the season (9 appearances),and since then he has been a key player for the Bianconeriof Italy’s second tier. Orsolini was a staple in Ascoli’slineup in the 2016-17 Serie B season, collecting 8 goals and 6 assists in 42 total appearances.
As is often the case with the Italian giants, Juventus were quick to identify the young talent and acquired Orsolini in January on a €10 million deal, immediately loaning him back to Ascoli to continue developing. His contract lasts until 2021 and the loan deal with Ascoli expires at the end of June, leaving plenty of possibilities as to where he might end up next season.
Orsolini has impressed with his technical ability, high work rate, and flare, especially at such a young age. The 20-year-old possesses a unique combination of agility, dribbling ability, and physicality, constantly taking on opposing defenders from the right wing and linking up with teammates. In a January interview with Juventus TV, Orsolini identified his strengths and most comfortable position on the field, while also identifying areas for improvement.
“I’m a natural winger and I normally play on the right and cut in on my left foot to either shoot or set up a teammate. I definitely need to improve defensively and that’s something that I’m already working on at Ascoli.”
Such confidence in ability and willingness to improve make Orsolini an attractive option for any side looking to bolster their attacking unit. At the moment it is unclear where hewill spend the 2017-18 season. Depending on how Juventusfinish in the summer transfer market, particularly with their links to more seasoned attacking players, they could elect to loan him out for another year. While another stint inSerie B could be on the cards and perhaps for a side higher on the table, recent signs point to a Serie A club as a potential destination. Bologna strongly expressed their interest in the starlet and met with Juventus in the middle of June to discuss bringing him to the Stadio Renato Dall’Araon loan.
While he faded a bit in the latter portion of the 2016-17 season, Orsolini took the Under-20 World Cup by storm in his most recent action. He scored 5 goals in 7 matches for Italy, earning him the Golden Boot award and propelling his side to a third-place finish. Orsolini looked the most dangerous player on the pitch throughout much of the Azzurri’s games. His calmness in front of goal was on display against Japan when it took just three minutes to put Italy ahead, hammering home Andrea Favilli’s cross with his weaker foot. He scored a second sumptuous volley when he finished Giuseppe Pezzella’s cross to the back postto open the scoring against France, this time with his favored left.
Amid increased interest after earning top honors on the international stage, we will likely found out in the coming weeks where Orsolini will take the field next season.