Don’t be alarmed! No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you; Antonucci was originally part of our honorable mention list just a few days ago. However, when Bordeaux pulled out of the Malcom deal, we here at CdT had to adjust just like Monchi. So, welcome Mirko Antonucci to the Top 10!
Number Nine: Mirko Antonucci
Prior Club: AS Roma
Current Club: Pescara
Rank Last Year: N/A
Future Comparison: Angel Di Maria
Who is He?
Mirko Antonucci made an instant impact in his Roma debut, when he assisted Dzeko’s late equalizer against Sampdoria in January (see video below). That brought him to the attention of Roma fans around the globe. However, Antonucci is Roman through and through, like many players who’ve come through the academy ranks.
Like many young Roman talents, Antonucci caught the eye of Bruno Conti. While playing for Athletico 2000, Mirko drew Conti’s attention. He then joined Roma’s youth academy at the age of 13. He worked his way through the Roma youth ranks before becoming a regular in Alberto De Rossi’s Primavera side. Along the way he has won the Primavera versions of both the Scudetto and Coppa Italia. In addition, Antonucci has also represented Italy at the U15-U18 levels.
During his time in the Roma youth ranks, it’s been reported that Antonucci has drawn interest from English giants Manchester United and Liverpool. So his talent isn’t only seen through Giallorosso tinted glasses.
What Can He Do?
Antonucci is a classic winger who can play both wide right and wide left.In addition, he uses both feet well. He possess good pace and a bit of trickery, and as seen in his debut with the senior squad, can also play in a good cross. However, he’s also got a nose for goal and will drift centrally at times to find the back of the net.
This is where the future comparison to Angel Di Maria come from. It’s more about his ability to use both feet, play both wings, and chip in some goals, rather than saying he’s on that talent level.
What Will He Become?
At just 18 years of age, Antonucci showed a glimpse of the potential that he possesses when he provided Dzeko with the lovely cross versus Samp. The fact that he came on as a sub during the second leg of Roma’s Champions League semi final with Liverpool speaks volumes to EdF’s opinion of the kid.
This season Antonucci will ply his trade with Pescara on loan in Serie B. The loan should allow him to get consistent minutes at the professional level and develop the talent that he has displayed consistently with the Primavera. He’s off to a good start with the coastal club after he scored twice in his friendly debut.
Antonucci will look to develop the talent displayed at the Primavera level and improve his game, with an eye toward becoming an impact winger for years to come when he returns from loan next summer. That would be something Roma would love to have, especially if EdF sticks around awhile with his system’s reliance on quality wingers.