Club: Manchester United
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Date of Birth: October 5th 1991
Place of Birth: Rome, Italy
Previous Club(s): AS Roma
Roma kicked up a huge fuss in the summer of 2008 when Davide Petrucci rejected their offer of a professional contract and sought a higher wage for his considerable talents. There were no shortage of takers, but Manchester United continued something of a teenage Italian invasion of England by snapping up the highly-rated trequartista. His native club rated him the next in a long line of loyal Romanisti, following Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Alberto Aquilani. They thought wrong, and it’s to United’s benefit.
Petrucci is a wonderfully technically gifted footballer. He operates at his best somewhere between the midfield and attack but is adept at playing deeper or more advanced than his natural position. A set-piece wizard, he also has incredible vision and the deftness of touch to put what he sees into action. For all his flair and creative brilliance, he also appears to read a game exceptionally well and make wise and informed tactical decisions with the quickness required of a top player.
He’s taken some time to adapt to the physical side of English football, but has impressed whilst doing so. In striking up a friendship with Italian team-mate Federicho Macheda, he has provided United with a very useful partnership at Academy and Reserve level, and one which may blossom at higher levels down the road. Already training with the first team on occasion at Old Trafford, and with United’s track record of pushing talented youngsters through regardless of age, watch this space.
Petrucci immediately slotted into the Academy line-up at Man Utd upon arrival, and after finding his feet, set about creating his own highlight film. He was a key part of the team’s pre-season success in the prestigious Northern Ireland Milk Cup, and has been a core part of Paul McGuinness’ line-up all season, injury not withstanding. With a fine return of goals and progress through Italian national youth squads, he has pushed onto the Reserve line-up, scoring in the Lancashire Senior Cup. In January, he was added to United’s Champions League squad, and whilst that was more reward for his progress than a serious chance of appearing, it shows the esteem in which he is held by the club.