Gaetano Castrovilli bears a pretty heavy mantle of expectations, much as you’d expect for a 20-year-old who’s already got the moniker “the new Cassano” due to his on-field work. He’ll get a chance to shine now with Cremonese in Serie B, where he’s just signed on loan for the upcoming season.
After rising through the academy at Bari and into the first team as a 19-year-old, Fiorentina plunked down €1.4 million to bring him to the Primavera last January. The move to Cremonese is a good fit for him: he’s already made 11 Serie B appearances with Bari as a teenager, so he has the appropriate level of experience. The Grigiorossi are a perfect landing spot, too, as they were just promoted from Serie C and will need quality to stay in the second tier.
Castrovilli bring quality in spades. He’s thin as a rail, but his quick feet and wonderful touch on the ball get him out of trouble in clashes with bigger, stronger players. He loves a defense-opening pass and has the vision and technique to pull one off at any moment. His defensive contribution needs improvement, but that’s to be expected from such a young player. He spent his time with the Primavera playing not as a number 10 but as a deeper midfield schemer, which is where he’ll operate under new boss Attilo Tesser in a 4-3-1-2, which should provide adequate defensive cover to allow him to work his magic.
He’ll need some work in the weight room if he’s ever going to be a star in Serie A, but he’s already well on his way in terms of skill and nous. It would hardly be a shock if he nailed down a regular starting spot this season and then returned to Fiorentina to stake his claim for a role in 2018. We wish him all the best.