This article comes from contributor Jonathan Day, a football betting expert who writes for Sportingly Better.
When Paris St Germain pulled off the signings of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from AC Milan, you could be forgiven to miss the transfer of the relatively unknown midfielder from Pescara, but Verratti could turn out to be a crucial bit of business for Project PSG.
Verratti came through the youth system at Pescara early on, making his first team debut at the age of 16, during the 2008-2009 season. Italian giants AC Milan dispatched scouts and the intelligent passing and decision making of Verratti drew amiable comparisons to Andrea Pirlo. A co-ownership deal with the Rossoneri however, failed to materialise.
From an early age the passing ability and technical skill of the 5’5” Italian was evident and Verratti quickly became a first team regular at the age of 17 in a more advanced midfield role.
It wasn’t until last season that Verratti‘s potential was unlocked in a championship winning campaign for Pescara. The then coach Zdenek Zeman pulled Verratti back into a deep-lying defensive playmaker position in a 4-3-3 formation, akin to Pirlo and the Italian thrived.
Nine assists in 31 games illustrate how instrumental Verratti was for Pescara, but 13 yellow cards and two red cards, highlight the discipline and change in temperament needed by the 19 year old. Verratti is highly skilled from a dead ball situation and his corner kicks were particularly effective in the white and blue of Pescara.
Verratti has gone on to win three caps for the Italian Under-21 side and even made Cesare Prandelli’s provisional Azzurri squad for Euro 2012, but subsequently missed out on the cut.
Matiudi, Bodmer, Sissoko, Motta and Chantome will all be challenging Verratti for a central midfield place this season, but the Italian could be instrumental for PSG with his intelligence, vision and passing ability providing a stark contrast to the current type of strong, physical, ball-winning midfielders that Ancelotti has in his ranks.
Verratti seems unphased about leaving Italy and the midfielder has a huge opportunity to achieve a lot of success in Paris and leave his mark on PSG and the Azzurri.
Jonathan Day is a football betting expert specialising in European football. Jonathan currently writes for Sportingly Better, a football betting blog that offers free football tips, predictions and fantasy football picks. You can follow Sportingly Better on Twitter for all the latest tips.
Author Credit: Jonathan Day