Gino Peruzzi 21 Defender Catania Argentina
2013 has been…
Few things are as impressive from a young full-back as spending 210 minutes shackling one of the world game’s brightest stars. In 2012, Gino Peruzzi drew quite a few plaudits for two stellar performances as his team, Velez, were eliminated from the Copa Libertadores on penalties. Peruzzi could do little to stop Santos winning the shoot-out and advancing into the semi-finals; but his management of Neymar over two legs was outstanding. The Brazilian, a fellow member of The 100, cut a frustrated figure at the end of both matches; having failed to be a match winner.
That said the full-back still needs to improve the defensive side of his game. His performances when pitted against Neymar proved that he can remain switched on across an entire game. However, we imagine it’s easier to stay focused on your defence when you know you’ve got one the most exciting attacking talents in the world playing against you. It’s a different story if it’s just any old winger, who won’t be earmarked for special attention by the coaching staff. It’s in those situations that we’ve seen Peruzzi wander forward and get caught out of position.
Originally a winger, Gino Peruzzi is a very modern full-back. He is adept at getting forward and contributing in attack but some of his defensive lapses are painfully frustrating for those around him. Thankfully, he has the pace to get himself out of most sticky situations.
Peruzzi could prove to be a gem for the Argentina national team over the next 10-12 years. When fully fit Gino looks capable of running all day long; getting up and down the line to create overlaps for the forwards to prosper. He’s already got a handful of senior caps and is in line to make plenty more. The aforementioned domination of Neymar will only help his chances at national level; especially if he can become a nemesis for the now Barcelona man in the same way that Cristiano Ronaldo always struggles when matched up against Ashley Cole.
The worry is the knee injury that was made very public knowledge during Sunderland’s pursuit of the full-back over the summer. Paolo di Canio had earmarked Peruzzi as a key part of his summer overhaul of the club. However, the Black Cats backed away from the deal when concerns were raised over the severity of the problem.
Two medicals were conducted, one by the Sunderland medial team and another specialist team in Milan. Even though assurances were given that a course of dedicated exercise and specialist physiotherapy would correct the issue, the Premier League club had already distanced themselves from the move.
Instead, the door was left open for Calcio Catania to take the Argentinean international to Serie A. We were going to suggest that Peruzzi had a lucky escape by not going to Sunderland as Di Canio has already been fired and the club are languishing in the relegation zone. However, things are very similar at the Sicilian club. 19th place in the league and with a new manager appointed less than a month ago.
As for Gino; well he’s yet to debut for the club. He played and scored in a recent 5-0 win for the reserve team but Peruzzi is yet to make his mark on the Catania first team other than as an unused substitute just before the international break. The club have seemingly heeded the warnings of the medicals and tried to think of the long-term effect on the 21 year-old.
The next few weeks could prove to be crucial in the career of Gino Peruzzi. He’s now in training with the first team squad at Catania and as such, he’ll be doing things on his knee that he hasn’t been trying for nearly five months. If the rehabilitation has gone to plan, it could only be matter of months until Gino is fulfilling the hype that has been around him for 18 months. If he’s been drafted into the team too early or the problem just hasn’t cleared up, it could be the start of an entirely frustrating time for the player and the club.
There will be a lot of eyes on Peruzzi when he starts to play regularly for Catania. He’s previously had the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Inter Milan watching him and their interest reportedly cooled because of the knee. Constant appearances and strong performances in the Italian top-flight will reignite that interest once again.
Gino is one of the most promising right-backs in the world and one of the Champions League’s big teams will surely see him as the solution to the right side of their defence if he can reproduce his Velez form.
“More than earned that long-touted European move in the last northern hemisphere summer, but hasn't turned out for Catania yet. They must have a bloody good right back.” – Sam Kelly, Hasta El Gol Siempre
C- First things first; prove the knee injury isn’t a big thing