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Football Reporting


‘Fagioli can be a regista’ – Juventus boss predicts future Pirlo role for teenage star

The 19-year-old made his competitive debut on Wednesday, taking in 87 minutes in a 4-0 Coppa Italia win over SPAL

Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo predicts a bright future for young midfield star Nicolo Fagioli, stating that the 19-year-old can go on to flourish in the regista role due to his excellent understanding of the game.

Pirlo himself set the standard for deep-lying playmakers, perhaps most notably pulling the strings for Juve in the latter stages of his playing career under the tutelage of Antonio Conte, who led the Old Lady to three Serie A titles on the bounce between 2011 and 2014.

Fagioli, meanwhile, is just beginning his career, making his competitive debut from the start in the 4-0 Coppa Italia win over SPAL on Wednesday and lasting 87 minutes before being replaced by Weston McKennie.

And Pirlo sees shades of himself in the youngster, telling reporters after the match: “Fagioli? He is a very interesting guy who has been training with us for some time.

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“He can be a regista because he understands how to read the game, that could be his role in the future.

“He has a great vision of the game, a good technique. We’re taking it slow with him, we don’t want to give him too much responsibility, but tonight he played a great game.”

Joining the Serie A champions from Cremonese back in 2015, Fagioli was born and raised in Piacenza, the hometown of Juve CFO Fabio Paratici, who scouted him as a youth player.

Fagioli scored 11 goals in 56 appearances for Juventus Primavera but was promoted to the Under-23s when the Primavera season was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pirlo is not the only admirer of Fagioli, however, with former Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri having been taken aback by his skills as far back as 2018.

“We have Nicolo Fagioli, a guy born in 2001 who knows football and its tempo very well,” the club’s former head coach said at the time. “It’s a pleasure to see him playing.”

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Fagioli may get another chance to impress Pirlo when Juventus travel to Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Saturday as the Bianconeri look to shorten the gap between themselves and table-topping AC Milan.

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