Written By: Justin Holden
In my lifetime, there has never been a more obvious up and coming 16 year old player destined for superstar status than Pietro Pellegri. Yes Indeed, at the time of writing this article Pietro Pellegri is age 16 and he will be turning 17 on March 17th of 2018. Already in his professional career, Pellegri has accomplished quite a bit.
Pellegri originally played for Genoa in Italy’s Serie A. He was a product of their youth squad. But, on December 22nd of 2016, Pellegri was given his chance to be called up from the youth squad and play for Genoa’s senior squad. His debut game was unspectacular, with Genoa losing in an away game to Torino with a final score of 1-0. Pellegri came on as an 88th minute substitute in this game, and the significance was that made him tie the record for youngest player to ever debut in a Serie A game (15 years and 280 days old). Pellegri went on to score his first goal with the Genoa senior squad in May of 2017, making him the third youngest goal scorer in Italy’s Serie A league.
Pellegri has also had some success on the international stage. He has played games for Italy’s under 15, under 16, under 17, and under 19 national teams. Through 19 international appearances, Pellegri has scored 2 goals.
On January 27th of 2018, Pellegri signed with France Ligue 1 club Monaco for a reported €25 million transfer fee to his previous club, Genoa. He has since debuted for the club in February 2018. I expect Pellegri to take on a more prominent role as a “super sub” in the near future, and then eventually become a starting forward for the club. Monaco has done a great job in recent years of scouting, buying, and developing talented youth players. Pellegri will be a solid fit for the club.
Pellegri’s total career statistics (at the club level with Genoa and Monaco) are as follows: 10 league appearances, 3 league goals, 1 cup appearance, 0 cup goals. Pellegri is on record saying that Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović is the best in the world at the position, and a player that he has drawn inspiration from.
While it would be foolish for me to compare Pietro Pellegri to Zlatan Ibrahimović this early on, the kid has a bright future nevertheless. Pellegri is a 6’2 striker who displays the ability to score while under intense pressure from defenders. He has decent passing skills and great dribbling skills. Definitely more of a finisher than a creator in the final third of the pitch, but that’s what you want anyway from a striker. I expect Pellegri to develop into a more well rounded forward over time. I’m putting the world on notice that this kid is the real deal. I won’t be surprised if a huge transfer market bid from a top club comes within another year or two.