According to Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla, Soleri is nearing a loan move to Serie B club Brescia for next season. At only 19 years of age the move seems like a big, yet appropriate step up given his production last year. But for those who may not be able to answer all the questions in the Soleri category of Roma Jeopardy (with a spiteful Rudi Garcia as host), let’s go back further than last year. Like a lot further.
The Early Years
Born in Rome, Italy, Soleri spent part of his childhood in Brazil, which seems to have left quite an impression on him. “My first footballing memories are from Brazil. I spent five years there as a young boy and particularly remember playing with my dad on the beach in Rio, and the day I bought a Brazil shirt with 'Ronaldo No.9' on the back”, Soleri told asroma.com. He first played for Jockey Club, a team in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the first teams he supported were Roma and Santos.
Originally a midfielder before he was converted into a striker, Soleri joined Roma in 2013-14. His first season wasn’t very fruitful, as he made just two substitute appearances for the Primavera side. In 2014-15 Soleri scored eight goals in 17 Primavera appearances, but failed to score in four UEFA Youth League appearances. He also scored two goals in five Viareggio Cup appearances that year.
Soleri’s 2015-16 campaign was much better, as he scored 10 goals and had two assists in 22 Primavera appearances to go along with four goals and one assist in seven UEFA Youth League appearances. He rattled off five goals in four matches after being gifted the captain’s armband for a match at one point in the season.
The former Italy-U19 international had about as good of a season a striker could hope for, scoring 24 goals in 22 Primavera appearances and three goals in five UEFA Youth League appearances. He also scored five goals and had one assist in five Coppa Primavera appearances and four goals in four Primavera Fase Finale appearances.
“The thing I like most about my game is attacking the front post when I'm in the box. I always try to give everything I have out there and walk off the pitch drenched in sweat. The aspect I feel I need to work on the most is using my left foot” says Soleri. He rather fittingly compares his game to Luca Toni, but he’s also admittedly influenced by Lionel Messi of Barcelona.
Standing at 6 feet 4 inches tall and with a fair amount of pace and technical skill, Soleri has all the tools to be a solid player in the future. Last season he showed he can be a consistent scoring threat as well. A loan to Brescia, assuming he earns regular playing time, could prove crucial to Soleri’s development. In a few years’ time Soleri may be Edin Dzeko’s replacement, or at the very least a useful rotation player.