Dejan Kulusevski has been the breakout talent of the year in the Serie A this season. The Swede has been attracting attention from many clubs, thanks to what he’s doing for Parma. What could come as a big surprise for many is how he’s doing all of this in his very first season of first-team football.
Fresh reports from Gianluca di Marzio have said that Inter are pushing for Kulusevski. They want to sign the player permanently in January, but the indications are that Parma want to keep him on loan till the end of the season. Antonio Conte feels that he could be a vital part of the club’s frontline.
There should be no surprise in that whatsoever. The way Kulusevski plays is very much suited to how Inter would want in a new attacking player. Getting him from his parent club Atalanta would not be an easy job.
Parma team manager Alessandro Lucarelli has said that Kulusevski would stay at the club till the end of the season.
He said (via FootballItalia): “He will stay with us until the end of the season. He is a very young boy and must not look at what is written about him.
“Too much praise, especially for a young player, can lead to a drop in performances. He has to keep doing what he has done so far.”
This season, the versatile forward has played 16 games in the Serie A this season. He has an impressive tally of six goals and four assists. His most recent goal saw Kulusevski leave Kalidou Koulibaly for dead, before slotting the ball past Alex Meret against Napoli. Not many can do that. But Kulusevski did that and left one of the world’s best defenders in dust.
That directness is one of the most important aspects of Kulusevski’s play. Even if he’s a rapid dribbler, he has just an impressive final product in him. For a player who is 19 and playing his first season as a senior-level footballer, that is very rare to have.
This season, he has completed 2.2 dribbles per game. He also has 2.3 key passes per game to his name too. Playing in a fluid and quick 4-3-3 shape under Roberto D’Aversa, Kulusevski usually plays on the right-wing. He isn’t the one to hug the touchline. He always cuts inside and takes up central positions.
He has also played as a striker and as a number ten this season. And for the Atalanta Primavera side in the days gone by, he was even a central midfielder. This versatility is because of his sound physical attributes and footballing intelligence. This allows him to score and create from anywhere.
For the La Dea Primavera side, Kulusevski has played 55 times in all competitions. He had a tally of 17 goals and as many as 26 assists. That is a very good number, considering he was only a teenager. The manner in which he has taken that forward into senior football is incredible.
As things stand, Inter have been relying on the front two of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez in just about every game. In the 3-5-2 shape, they have found the back of the net for a total of 18 goals. Inter themselves have scored 32 times in the Serie A. With Alexis Sanchez out with an injury and Matteo Politano struggling to get games, they are the ones Inter rely on for goals.
Conte won’t mind that, considering how it has always been for his sides in the past. But he always had some quality depth in frontlines too. Because of that, Kulusevski represents a very fair deal.
He is direct, physical and has a high work rate- like Lautaro. He has a very reliable final product in whatever he does. He can add depth in the role that Stefano Sensi is meant to play too, considering how he did that at La Dea. Like Politano, he adds pace to the attack and he’s more of a centre-forward than the Italian.
And at 19, he presents a deal similar to Lautaro. The Argentine came to Inter from Racing Club in the summer of 2018 for a fee of $33m. And he now has a huge release clause. That’s the direction Inter could take with Kulusevski. It would be a very lucrative deal.