The Scout: Andrea Petagna – next in line for Lazio’s Vice-Immobile?

The Scout: Andrea Petagna
The Scout: Andrea Petagna

After a disappointing season for both Felipe Caicedo and Nani, the former who Inzaghi wishes to sell and the latter whom has returned to Valencia after a season-long loan, the search for a rotation option for Lazio in attack continues. Furthermore, the recent departure of Filip Djordjevic frees up space in the biancoceleste roster. One of the names linked recently is Atalanta forward Andrea Petagna, 22, with his agent saying the forward is open to a move.

This article launches the first in a series of pieces we will be writing across the transfer window. These will be more in-depth takes on Lazio’s primary transfer targets, assessing whether or not they are the right option for a move. These articles will replace the ‘Why Lazio Should Sign‘ series, focusing more on a comprehensive and detailed overview.

Andrea Petagna is known primarily for his upper body strength. His commanding frame makes him a strong physical presence and makes up for his lack of pace. Incredibly strong, this makes him a valuable asset for creating chances and, more importantly, goals. This season, he achieved seven assists across Serie A and Europa League; with an average of 1.1 key passes per game. Furthermore, with an average pass length of 15m, many of Petagna’s passes are short to mid-length and his strength allows him to hold up play in tricky positions for the opposition.

Andrea Petagna
Andrea Petagna at Atalanta B.C. – Source: ItalianFootballDaily

Finishing, however, is often considered to be one of Petagna’s primary weaknesses. His difficulty, when it comes to sticking the ball into the back of the net, led him to score just six goals in 39 appearances (11 as a substitute). Nevertheless, with a bit of work, he can develop into a strong player in the future. At the age of just 22, he has a long way to go yet but is showing some genuine talent in his game.

Having played for Italy’s U16, U17, U18, U19, U20, U21 and main national teams, there is great faith in the young striker’s potential. Last season, Petagna only missed 3 games through injury, coming after a hernia put him out for the final games of the season.

With Petagna’s hold-up play and passing ability, he could work well paired with, or behind, Ciro Immobile up front. Petagna could therefore also cover for either Luis Alberto, if Felipe Anderson leaves, or Ciro Immobile. The player could be available for as low as €10 million, or as high as €20 million, with TransferMarkt valuing the playing at €10 million. Petagna’s Atalanta contract expires in 2020 but will he make the switch to Lazio this summer?

Andrea Petagna Market Value
Graph of Andrea Petagna’s market value – Source: TransferMarkt

Personally, I’d rate Andrea Petagna as a 8/10 transfer for Lazio. The cost would not be stratospheric and the play appears to be interested. At just 22-years-old, he has a lot of potential and could be a short-term cover and long-term replacement for prolific forward Ciro Immobile.

Next, read what one of our other writers had to say about Lazio targeting Petagna:

The CIES Football Observatory determines Petagna’s value at €22.1m from a high of €52.4m (!) around October last year. Transfermarkt puts him at a much more realistic €9m valuation, which in the current market would represent a bargain for player still in contract until 2020 and turning 23 at the end of the month.

If Lazio can capture Petagna for somewhere half-way between these two values, they’ll land a player who could grow into an effective plan B option in the absence of Immobile, but not necessarily a player that can really lead the line just yet. I’d call this a 7/10 signing; worthwhile with future development in mind, but not likely to transform the team dramatically.” – Dom Ayres

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