Sky Sport Italia is reporting that Sassuolo and Sporting Kansas City have come to an agreement for Gianluca Busio with a deal agreed of around five million euros for 19-year-old midfielder. The 2002-born American has been chased by European clubs for over a year and looks set to finally gets his move to play in a top 5 league.
He joins a Sassuolo side that has finished 8th in Serie A for two consecutive seasons, having been promoted from Serie B in the 2012/13 season. Manager Roberto De Zerbi has been keen to add depth in central midfield area and Busio looks to bring the athleticism and progressive play that is required in his system. There was interest all over Europe, including Sporting Lisbon as well as teams in France and Belgium but Busio looks set to move to the Serie A side.
Sassuolo boasts a talented squad with big names such as Manuel Locatelli and Domenico Berardi, two players that have starred for Italy so far in Euro 2020. Ex-Chelsea man Jérémie Boga and ex-West-Ham man Pedro Obiang are also on the books: this team has proven quality and young talent through and through. This is a big step up from Major League Soccer (MLS) for Busio and he’ll get the opportunity to learn from established European starters and train with top talent every day.
Busio’s career thus far
Busio has been very highly regarded since his days with the USYNT, having made his US U-20 debut at just 17 years of age and his MLS debut at 16. At 19, Busio has already made 68 appearances for Sporting KC, scoring eight goals and assisting eight more. His numbers over the last 365 days have been remarkable in numerous departments.
Busio’s ranks among all MLS midfielders over the past year (all stats are per 90 minutes):
- 82nd percentile in non-penalty goals
- 98th percentile in shots
- 87th percentile in assists
- 84th percentile in npxG+xA
- 89th percentile in progressive carries
Busio’s defensive statistics are no slouch as well, as he ranks in the 67th percentile or higher in pressures, tackles, interceptions, and even aerials won (he’s 5’6!). The North Carolina native has shown great maturity at such a young age and proven to be one of the better midfielders in Major League Soccer at just 19 years old.
There’s no doubt he has a lot to learn and improve upon, but the ability is evident and there’s no rush for him to become a star. The US could use somebody like Busio that brings goals from midfield and advances the ball well from deep. The issue, however, is that Busio isn’t cap tied. Busio is yet to make a senior appearance for the USMNT and has eligibility for the Italian national team, and while the Azzurri midfield is extremely crowded, he could be persuaded to make the switch if he continues to get left out of US camps and establishes himself at Sassuolo.
US fans should be keeping a close eye on Busio and hopefully get a chance to see him at the Gold Cup next month, assuming he doesn’t opt to attend the full preseason with his new club side instead. With rumors of Manuel Locatelli being scooped up by a bigger club, minutes could open up almost immediately for the young American and he’ll hope to firmly establish himself for both club and country with World Cup qualifying just around the corner.
All stats in this article are courtesy of FBRef and/or Transfermarkt.
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