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Giulianelli: Arsenal, Liverpool serious about Belotti; Juventus ahead of Man Utd for Kessie; Totti tribute

So what about the new topscorer in Serie A - Andrea Belotti?

The Torino centre-forward is not yet 23, being born the 20th December 1993, but has scored five goals in four matches (three from the start, one coming off the bench), with an incredible average of one goal every 60 minutes.

And he is doing these things with Torino, not a top team. In the meantime, he is conquering more and more space even in the Italian national team, taking advantage of the fact that now the head coach is Giampiero Ventura, his former manager with the Granata.

Where can arrive the Gallo (his nickname that means rooster)? The first aim will be to better his previous record of 12 goals scored in the last season. Then we will see. What is sure is that, at the end of the season, it won't be easy for Sinisa Mihajlovic to keep with him a striker who obviously will attract a lot of important offers from around the Europe.

I can tell you Arsenal and Liverpool are already eyeing him.


So now let's highlight some of the surprises of Serie A after six games.

Apart from Juventus, which are destined to rule the league, but have found more difficulties than expected up to now, I can say of course that Napoli have really been amazing. The Azzurri are living a very good moment and they don't want to stop, now that the self-confidence is rising after a summer full of politics due to the mega-transfer of Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus.

Maurizio Sarri seems to have found the key to turn that departure into something good for his team: he has changed the way of playing. In the sense that, if before all the players were focused on how to give the ball to Higuain, how to arm that weapon so lethal for opposition goalkeepers, now they want to score themselves, they want to show that the team is so mature that they can win even without a man capable of scoring 36 goals in one season.

It says something that when you lose Higuain, his 36 goals can be scored by other teammates: and together. This is the new idea of football at Napoli. And the last win against Benfica clearly proves what I'm saying.


Another big surprise, maybe more than Andrea Belotti - who was already known at this level, is Franck Yannick Kessié, the Ivorian midfielder of Atalanta.

He was born in 1996, the day before the Gallo (19 December) and last season was in Serie B with Cesena. Since his debut in the Italian top flight, he has already scored four goals in six matches with one assist: not bad for a rookie!

His agent has confirmed the interest of Arsenal, while the player, himself, admits UK work permit problems thwarted a move to Sunderland and has since confessed a hope of playing for Manchester United.

What surprises most is that Kessié is a former defender - and has become a central midfielder just in the last season. He can still grow up, and I won't be surprised if Juventus will decide to bet on him for the role of Paul Pogba's heir.


My last words of this column cannot be dedicated to anyone else but the greatest player that I've had (have, and hopefully will have) the luck to see playing: I'm referring to a wonderful 40-year-old guy, the Captain with a capital "C", the number 10 par excellence in Italian football: Francesco Totti.

It's incredible the number of greetings and declarations of esteem he's received from all over the world, from the greatest and brightest stars in the world of football and sports in general. But among this great amount, one really stunned me: Luis Figo told Francesco in a video for his tribute: “And I'm sorry for stealing the Ballon d'Or in 2000 – you deserved it."

I've always thought that he deserved that Ballon d'Or.

Happy birthday, Capitano!

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