With Mattia De Sciglio, Domenico Criscito and Mattia Darmian pigeonholed in the litany of Italian left backs who had promise but ended up as duds, it may be risky to bet on another. However, Antonio Barreca is the rule, rather than the exception. Torino bought back their speedy canterano this summer from Cagliari, and it has proven to be a shrewd investment. Whether it be shrugging off Juan Cuadrado or dragging a sloping cross into the area, Barreca always makes an impact on the game, with constant improvements in form each week. Barreca also knows what he’s doing on the ball, a good tactical understanding that has made him a key part in this Torino side, influencing matches from the fullback spot, picking up where Bruno Peres left off. When Peres faced off against his former side last September, it was Torino who came away with 3 points, and Barreca who exited with the plaudits. From cutting off Mohamed Salah’s run, to drawing a yellow card on Alessandro Florenzi, Barreca has shown he has the decision making, timing and ability to go far. Playing opposite of Davide Zappacosta, he gives the Turin side much needed balance. The Granata graduate has proven he has what it takes to be Italy’s long-term leftback and finally fill the gap left by Fabio Gross’s retirement. The previous ones may have been duds, but trust me, this egg’s gonna crack.
Photo Credit: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe