Those who do not follow Serie A closely may not be too familiar with Torino hitman Andrea Belotti, but the 23-year-old Italian striker is attracting the interest of several of Europe’s big guns.
Italy have been short on quality strikers for a number of years but they looked to have strengthened in that department. Manolo Gabbiadini’s impressive start at Southampton proves this but it is Belotti who is heading the queue.
The former Palermo man is leading the scoring charts in Italy’s top tier, with 22 goals, leaving him ahead of the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Edin Dzeko and Mauro Icardi. That is pretty good for a striker playing for a mid-table team.
Only Edinson Cavani and Lionel Messi have scored more goals than Belotti in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
Manchester City have been heavily linked (via Talksport) with the striker while he has also been touted (via ESPN) as a possible alternative for Manchester United should they fail in their attempt to lure Antoine Griezmann to Old Trafford. Belotti would probably be an attainable target for United but it is believed Torino have inserted a €100 million release clause in his contract.
He is rated very highly with a club that would drive a hard bargain in any potential negotiations too.
“If I had the chance to do it all over again today, I’d make the clause €150m,” Torino owner Urbano Cairo recently told Sky Italia (via Whoscored.com).
That is not surprising though given that high goalscoring strikers are such a rare commodity these days. The Italy international also has the ability to score all kinds of goals. He has netted eight headers, nine from his right foot and five with his left foot.
5- Only #Belotti in the top-5 Euro leagues All Comps 16/17 has scored at least 5 left-footed, 5 right-footed goals, 5 headers. Complete.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) January 12, 2017
He brings pace, strength and work rate to the equation, which are all important attributes to have in the Premier League.
The prolific striker recently completed a hat-trick within eight minutes against former club Palermo.
Belotti will likely be a name you will hear more often in the summer. If he keeps scoring goals, it is hard to see mid-table Torino holding on to their prized asset when suitors come knocking.
Vincent O’Shea, Pundit Arena