Things you should know about the Italian star

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There has been little to talk about in Turin this season, with Andrea Pirlo’s first year in charge of Juventus proving complicated and tedious.

Nothing ends until the fat woman sings like they say, but the old lady is currently eight points behind league leaders Inter and hasn’t watched the races all season. Having held the scudetto consecutively since 2011/12, this campaign always had the potential to be transitory and painful.

However, there have been positive aspects, namely in the path of youth. Pirlo has put his faith in Weston McKennie and the young American has relished the opportunity, while Dejan Kulusevski has also impressed. However, the latest player to make his Serie A debut is Nicolo Fagioli, much to the delight of Juventus fans.

Fagioli has long been praised by the Bianconeri faithful and was finally given a proper run in Juve’s 3-0 win against Crotone. But what is all the hype about? This is everything you need to know about the 20-year-old.

Nicolo Fagioli, Niccolo Zanellato
Fagioli always wants to have the ball at his feet | Jonathan Moscrop / Getty Images

An astute playmaker in advanced areas of the field, Fagioli possesses impressive control over the ball in difficult situations and can progress through the game efficiently.

When he is not spraying a pass, the 20-year-old can move the ball with a neat dribble, either to break into the opponent’s area or even to restart the game from further behind.

Versatility is key in the Pirlo system; Fagioli could be useful both in attack and in deeper roles.

Andrea Pirlo, Nicolo Fagioli
Has the approval of the boss | Jonathan Moscrop / Getty Images

It took Pirlo until the turn of the year to convert Fagioli into the first team, but that doesn’t tell the whole story; he is a great admirer of the young man.

Pirlo has gone so far as to draw comparisons between himself and Fagioli.

Quoted by CalciomerateThe Juve coach drew parallels in his game: “He can be a manager, as I grew up as an offensive midfielder but is more inclined to build the game, not only in terms of characteristics but also physically.”

Injuries can affect anyone, but Fagioli had an intense scare in April 2019.

He faced a month off for benign heart arrhythmia after doctors discovered an irregular heart rhythm.

All injuries are scary when a young man is filled with so many promise, but heart problems are often overlooked. Fortunately, it has not affected his promotion.

Nicolo Fagioli
The decision to stay at the club has paid off | Jonathan Moscrop / Getty Images

It’s good, no permanently, but there was talk of a temporary move to Crotone during the 2018/19 season.

Massimiliano Allegri was in charge at the time in what would be his last season with the club, and Fagioli’s move was blocked so that the Italian could develop internally and not elsewhere.

Fagioli has spoken of his relationship with some of the biggest names in world football, let alone Juventus, and revealed that many first-team players are looking out for him.

The 20-year-old explained after his heart problems that Cristiano Ronaldo had helped him talk to medical staff and better understand the problem. He also cites Paulo Dybala as someone he talks to regularly when he’s in the first team setup.

In terms of role models, he’s not badly matched by any means.

Nicolo Fagioli
How does Fagioli rate in the virtual world? | Jonathan Moscrop / Getty Images

While it starts off with a rather low 68 rating in EA Sports’ FIFA 21, unsurprisingly, it grows to a very strong 84 OVR in career mode.

Meanwhile, in PES, the youngster is initially rated 61, which can be leveled up to 81 with the appropriate amount of playtime.

What does 'Fagioli' mean in English, you ask?
What does ‘Fagioli’ mean in English, you ask? | Matthew Horwood / Getty Images

Last but not least, the name Fagioli translates into English as ‘beans’, and we all agree it’s great.

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