Rewind back to August 2022. As an Andrea Belotti fan, that was one of the best days of my life, as Il Gallo signed with AS Roma to create a mighty strike force alongside Tammy Abraham, Paulo Dybala, Nicolo Zaniolo, Stephan El Shaarawy, and Lorenzo Pellegrini. Belotti, one of Italy's best attackers and a man who scored over 100 Serie A goals with Torino, was ours—Completely FREE.
Yeah, I was pretty damn happy about this move. Good job, Pinto!
Fast forward to November 2022, and it's Bad boy, Pinto, bad boy! That same Andrea Belotti has scored a whopping two goals so far, both in the Europa League. In Serie A? 12 games and zero goals. One missed penalty and the mental state of a child who lost his parents in a huge desolate warehouse on a dark and stormy winter evening. Not good.
So, whose fault is this? Mourinho? The refs? Pinto? Pellegrini? Trigoria's old hunting grounds? Or Belotti himself?
As it stands, Belotti signed a contract until June 2023 with an option to extend for two more seasons if certain conditions are met. I hope one of those conditions is to score less than five goals and miss two penalties. Then we'd be getting somewhere.
In all seriousness: while I thought this transfer was a bull's eye from Pinto and Belotti would score more goals than Tammy due to the special Dybala connection, we're almost halfway through the season, and Belotti hasn't impressed at all. Whether next to Zaniolo, Dybala, Tammy, SES, or Eldor, Belotti hasn't been the same—definitely not the player from his Torino or even Palermo days.
He hustles, yes. He runs. He tries. But that's it, really. He looks uninspired, lost, and uncertain—traits that aren't beneficial for a striker. Impeccable timing, positioning, and the ability to run into spaces behind defenders, Belotti did that numerous times before at Torino, nota bene vs. the same opponents in the same league.
He's not suddenly a bad player, far from it. And Mourinho didn't turn him into Bojan Krkic or Tavano 2.0. But most of us thought those goals would follow, and Andrea was an instant upgrade—deploy and score at will. Easy peasy. Too bad it doesn't work that way in the real world, only in FIFA video games. These are human beings.
Right now, Belotti lacks confidence and belief. He needs to watch some old videos of himself on YouTube or something. His goals vs. HJK and Betis were those typical poacher goals. Nothing special, but he was in the right place at the right time. Belotti works a lot, but to score goals, he needs other teammates to bring their A-game.
He isn't Messi, Dybala, or even SES. He needs assistance. He lives for that one pass from Cristante, Spinazzola, or Pellegrini. Central, out wide, doesn't matter. But he needs that supply. Otherwise, he'll drown in despair together with the rest.
Roma has two attackers who desperately need a confidence boost, as Tammy has the same problem. But that's ironically why Pinto chased Belotti for so long in the first place: if Abraham was down, Roma could send Belotti to war and be as dangerous as Tammy. Now both men have problems and are underperforming at Roma. Talk about bad luck.
So will the World Cup break heal or hurt Andrea? Time will tell. Ok, there's room for extra training and to improve chemistry with other players, but the most important thing Andrea needs is goals. Plain and simple. In official matches, not on training grounds or friendlies.
It's a difficult situation because when he gets his chance on the pitch, he doesn't impress or look like the Belotti of old. But it's the only remedy. Too bad we have to wait until at least next year for him to explode.
In 2023 Mourinho has one job: Make Belotti great again. Or better yet: make the rooster sing again.