Chelsea: Casadei could be the new Lampard
Italian football is blessed with an abundance of midfield talent.
Their Euro-winning side saw the likes of Marco Verratti, Jorginho, and Nicolo Barella play starring roles, whilst Sandro Tonali, Manuel Locatelli, and Davide Frattesi are also stupendously rising to international prominence.
Another dazzling prodigy that has emerged from the Azzurri production line is Chelsea’s Cesare Casadei.
Who is Cesare Casadei?
The 2003-born titan joined the Nerazzurri in 2018, where he swiftly moved through the youth ranks, winning a national U17 Championship the following year and being promoted to the U19s, despite being two years younger than the rest of the squad.
During the 2021/22 season, the 6 foot 1 ace made 30 appearances in the Italian Primavera Championship for Inter, the nation’s youth league, and notched 18 goal involvements.
The Blues then agreed to a £12.6m deal for the youngster to come to Stamford Bridge. He has begun his career in West London brightly, with netting five times in 13 outings for Chelsea U21s.
Most recently, in May 2023, the former Inter prodigy was included in his country’s squad that participated in the U20 World Cup. In Argentina, he was simply magnificent, as he scored seven goals, registered an 80% pass accuracy, made nine key passes, nine successful dribbles, and won 50 duels as his side lost in the final to Uruguay.
However, this was still deserved recognition for his string of imperious performances as he received the Golden Ball and Golden Boot, as the most valuable player and the top scorer of the tournament.
Maurizio Viscidi, Italy’s National Youth Team Coordinator, who has witnessed Casadei’s extraordinary growth, said: “He’s a modern midfielder, because out of all the youth team midfielders he’s been the one with the greatest aptitude for attacking runs and goalscoring.
“He’s also strong in the air, something that’s unusual among younger players. Given his ability to enter and give a presence in the area he’s the strongest player currently within the Azzurri’s youth sector.”
Due to his reputation as an outstanding free-scoring midfielder, an obvious comparison has been made to club legend Frank Lampard.
The Englishman scored 211 goals from his deep-lying, box-to-box midfield berth, and Casadei’s similar height, physicality, frame, and athleticism means he is more than capable of repeating some comparable feats.
Whilst it would be foolish to suggest that anyone could replicate Lampard’s record-breaking statistics, there is nothing to disprove Casadei’s limitless potential from the middle of the park.
Described as someone with “crazy potential” and a “diamond” by Andrea Zanchetta, Inter’s U18 coach, Casadei is destined for unadulterated greatness and his transfer has been a rare victory for Chelsea’s new ownership.