Striker Robert Acquafresca has been linked with both Fulham and West Ham in todayâ€™s papers after the Inter Milan forward spent last season on loan with Cagliari netting 9 goals in 22 games, making him the Rossobluâ€™s top scorer for the campaign.
According to reports surfacing in Italy, Jose Mourhino has made it plain in recent weeks that Acquafresca is not part of the Nerazurriâ€™s immediate plans, which in turn has forced the player and his agent to shop around for alternatives ahead of the 2009/10 season.
So what does Acquafresca offer future employers?
First and foremost, at just 21-years-old, Acquafresca is as a budding, maturing talent – a forward still with plenty to learn in order to become the lethal goalscorer he threatens to become. Within this framework some have criticised the striker for being slightly too selfish and direct when leading the line. But simply flagging up the negatives is to do the forward a disservice.
Standing at 6ft tall and blessed with pace and strong upper-body strength, Acquafresca has all the attributes needed to be the focal point of a team’s attack. Good in the air, and capable of scoring with both feet,Â Acquafresca can score just as easily inside as outside the 18-yard box.
His talents have been used to the full by the Azzurri. The strikerâ€™s talents have been recognised at every level from the Under 17â€™s to the Under 21â€™s, where he has an excellent striking record of 8 goals in 17 appearances.
It has already been confirmed that Fulham are interested in the player. Acquafresca told Gazzetta dello Sport “Fulham called me personally on the phone. Each hypothesis must be considered – I could also try to go abroad as others have done.”
However, a deal in the short term may be difficult to conclude, particularly if Acquafresca shines at the European Under 21 Championship which kicks off in Sweden today. Many of the stars of tomorrow have been scouted at tournaments such as this, so both the Hammers and the Cottagers must be worried that if he has a strong tournament his transfer value may inflate considerably, making his signature far less of a bargain buy.
Although Fulham have made the front-running, expect Zolaâ€™s links with the player as his former Under-21 coach to count in West Hamâ€™s favour, making Upton Park his probable destination if he comes to the Premier League.
Video evidence of Robert Acquafresca can be seen here.