The higher we get in our U-23 Countdown, one of two things becomes more likely: either the player has significant first-team experience despite their youth, or they’re so promising that they’re leapfrogging older players due to their sheer potential. Giacomo Faticanti is the latter.
Despite only appearing once for the senior team to date, Faticanti’s performances with the Primavera and the Italy youth setup have positioned him as one of the most exciting midfield prospects in all of Italy.
The biggest question remaining on Faticanti isn’t if he’ll get Serie A minutes; it’s if he’ll get them in Rome.
Number Five: Giacomo Faticanti
Position: Midfield, Defensive Midfield
Shades of: Daniele De Rossi, Manuel Locatelli, Andrea Pirlo
Who Is He?
Giacomo Faticanti was born on July 31, 2004, in Sora, a commune in the Lazio region. Six years later, he joined Frosinone’s youth academy, and eight years after that, he moved to the Giallorossi youth sector. Throughout his time in the Roma youth system, Faticanti has brought victory with him to each level; in 2019, he won the U-15 national title, and in 2021, he won the U-17 national title. That 2020/2021 season with the U-17 was special enough that Faticanti was included in The Guardian’s yearly list of the 60 best footballing talents born in 2004 worldwide; not a guarantee of future stardom, but it’s about as close as you can get at age 17.
The 2022/2023 season was when Faticanti’s promise at the youth level began to translate into real opportunities for club and country. He led Roma’s Primavera side to a Coppa Italia victory and became a key fixture of the U-19 and U-20 Italian national teams, winning the U-19 Euros and getting to the final of the U-20 World Cup.
Although he hasn’t appeared in Serie A just yet for the Giallorossi, José Mourinho has certainly taken notice of Faticanti, as he received his professional debut on October 27, 2022, in a Europa League match against HJK Helsinki.
What Can He Do?
Faticanti is a deep-lying defensive midfielder first and foremost, but he is certainly able to play throughout the midfield when called upon. He thrives on dictating the tempo of play and using his work rate to his advantage, moving into the right spot to make the right pass that can unlock an offensive movement.
Faticanti isn’t just a neat playmaker, though, as he is also known for his hard-tackling ways (much like his idol, Daniele De Rossi). Yet that tackling doesn’t mean he’s a reckless player; instead, I’d say that it’s actually his coolness under pressure and smart decision-making combined with defensive tenacity that indicates his promise as a midfielder, regardless of whether he’s molded into more of a De Rossi or a Pirlo.
What Can He Become?
The sky’s the limit for Faticanti; he’s found success and captaincy at every level for club and country, and there’s a sense that he’s one of the key players in Roma’s new golden generation for its youth system. This made it somewhat surprising that Faticanti was reported to have submitted a transfer request earlier this summer: why leave Roma at age 19 when you’ve already logged a Europa League appearance and recently got yourself a contract extension through 2026?
The fact that there’s been absolutely no movement on Faticanti’s transfer request makes me wonder if that rumor had any true weight and, if it did, if there was simply not enough interest from a club that could be the right landing pad for such a promising midfielder. If Faticanti sticks around the Giallorossi this season, my guess is that he’s integrated into the senior side rather quickly alongside his fellow Primavera star Riccardo Pagano. The signing of Renato Sanches might make it harder for him to stake out a claim in Roma’s starting eleven this season, but as we all know, sometimes opportunity knocks when you least expect it.
The bottom line on Faticanti is this: he’s likely to become a good to great Serie A player whether or not he’s wearing a Roma kit, so I hope that he does it in our colors.