Dan Davis takes a look at Andrea Pinamonti, Inter Milan’s newest talent who looks ready to set Serie A alight.
The career of Andrea Pinamonti has so far been a bright, but an incredibly short one. The Italian made his senior debut for Internazionale in December last year, but has shown incredible promise in appearances for his club. Pinamonti’s meteoric rise through Inter’s youth ranks, coupled with his natural ability to convert chances, has seen the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham cast a keen eye over him.
Who is Andrea Pinamonti?
Andrea Pinamonti is an 18-year-old centre-forward from Cles, Italy. The Italian showed a keen eye for goal from a young age, as he progressed through Inter Milan’s youth ranks, and also found himself regularly selected for his country at youth level. Pinamonti started to become a regular name on many lists of the most promising Italian talents, particularly in 2014 when he turned out for both Italy’s U15 and U16 teams. Pinamonti scored four goals in six appearances at U15 level, and six goals in 13 appearances at U16 level. His impressive form at his club, coupled with his fine form on the international stage, is what led to England’s largest teams sending scouts to analyse him regularly. Pinamonti played 14 times for Inter’s Under-17’s team, where he scored ten goals, and earned himself a promotion to the Inter Milan Primavera squad.
Despite scoring 20 goals in 31 appearances at that level, Pinamonti found it understandably difficult to break through into Inter’s senior team, despite their underachievement in Serie A, as they missed out on European football to their city rivals AC Milan, by just one point. Mauro Icardi, one of Pinamonti’s idols, scored 24 goals throughout the Italian domestic season, while Ivan Perisic, Eder and Candreva also were on hand to score goals throughout the season. However, after some promising performances for the Primavera squad, Pinamonti was finally handed his professional debut.
Stefano Pioli, Inter’s coach, selected Pinamonti to start against Sparta Prague on 8 December 2016, in the last Europa League group stage fixture. Pinamonti delivered an impressive performance in the 2-1 victory for Inter, despite not scoring. However, his quick movement and obvious tactical knowledge meant he was regularly able to create space for his team mates to exploit. However, his impressive European debut didn’t lead to a domestic debut soon after, as Pinamonti was forced to wait until 12 February of the same year to earn his first appearance in Serie A. Inter were 2-0 to the good against Empoli at the San Siro, when Pinamonti was introduced. The youngster went on to label his debut as ‘indescribable’. The striker then finished the 2016-17 Italian season back in Inter’s Primavera team, he has helped the squad clinch the youth title.
What is his Style of Play?
At the first glance, it would be easy to mistake Pinamonti for a player ten years his senior – someone with more experience and minutes on the pitch under their belt. However, despite the young Italian’s age, his ability in possession and keen eye for goal has seen many label him as being similar to Mauro Icardi, who Pinamonti himself has admitted, is one of his biggest idols. Pinamonti’s quick movement in the offensive positions around the field of play make him a player who is very difficult to mark, allowing the Italian to break free of his marker and get shots away on goal.
Inter Milan possess talented and creative players in their wide positions, which would allow Pinamonti to thrive off the right kind of service. Despite only making a handful of appearances in Inter’s senior team, the talented striker has proven himself adept at causing problems for opposition defences, allowing the likes of Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi more time to exploit space and create shooting opportunities.
What are his Strengths?
Pinamonti’s strongest trait is his keen eye for goal, and the movement on and off the ball which allows him to create chances for himself. Inter Milan’s flexibility in offensive positions, coupled with the creative freedom allowed to Ivan Perisic and Antonio Candreva, means that Pinamonti will be expected to contribute throughout all phases of play. However, the youngster’s astute knowledge of the game, and his unpredictability in possession allows him to drive his team’s attacks forward.
The Italian is also noticeably tall for his age, leaving him with exceptional ability in the air. His keen eye for goal means that he is able to use his height in various attacking situations, allowing him to nod home past the goalkeeper on many occasions. Pinamonti would be expected to hold off aerial challenges from defenders, allowing him to be able to flick the ball on, or take a shot at goal. The striker’s height could also be useful for Perisic and Candreva receiving flick-ons or knock downs that they may be able to convert.
The striker also has incredible confidence in his goal scoring ability. Pinamonti had the assurance to dink home a Panenka penalty against Roma in 2016, demonstrating to the world that even at such a young age, he had the audacity to try such a risky effort at goal. This confidence exudes from everything the youngster does, which is what allowed him to convert so many chances throughout all of Inter’s youth teams.
What are his Weaknesses?
Despite Pinamonti’s physicality, he showed signs during his Serie A debut that he wasn’t quite ready to step up into regular senior football. Inter were playing Empoli, and Pinamonti noticeably struggled with the eyes of many expectant fans on him. His passing suffered, particularly in the final third, which led to several attacks unnecessarily breaking down. Pinamonti’s decision making in the penalty area was also questionable, as he regularly struggled to play through his teammates into more offensive positions.
His performance against Sparta Prague in the Europa League showed that Pinamonti can be bullied by opposition defences far too easily, as he only mustered one shot on target throughout the 80-minute cameo. The young Italian also struggled in the air, as he did throughout his Serie A appearances too.
It’s clear that Pinamonti is bursting with talent, and will need the time to nurture it before unleashing it upon the defences in Italy. However, with the right amount of coaching and encouragement, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the young striker go on to conquer bigger and better things – first Italy, then the world.
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