For fans of Italian football, there hasn’t been too much reason to follow the Premier League for several years, as Italian players tend to stay away from the English leagues in large part. There are of course exceptions, with the most noteworthy in recent years being Mario Balotelli’s stint with Manchester City. However, it seems that for the most part the Italians are content playing in other leagues, and in Italy’s own very sound leagues.
However, if you’re an Italian football fan looking for a reason to take a closer look at the Premier League, it’s important not to take this trend too literally or completely. In fact, if you tune in to Betfair’s live score sites during a match weekend for Premier League play, you’re liable to find a number of Italian names you recognize. The Betfair site is primarily meant for sports betting, but in keeping its visitors informed offers a great deal of updated information on teams and rosters, so it’s a convenient place to check up on Italian players for various teams. But just to get you started, here’s a list of the current Italians making the rounds in the Premier League.
- Emanuele Giaccherini – Giaccherini has started 7 games for Sunderland after being sold by Juventus heading into the season. He’s acquitted himself fairly well, netting 2 goals out of the midfield, though Sunderland’s start has been disastrous, and the team sits at last in the Premier League standings.
- Vito Mannone – The 25-year old keeper signed a 2 year deal with Sunderland at the outset of league play, but has so far been relegated to a backup role, with Kieren Westwood starting in goal.
- Federico Macheda – The 22-year old striker is a promising young player who’s signed on with Manchester United, but unless something changes relatively soon he’ll be held out of Premier League action. He’s been loaned out various times in the last couple of seasons, and is currently injured. Still, it’s conceivable that Macheda get some time in match play this season.
- Pablo Daniel Osvaldo – Osvaldo is a capable forward. He’s actually from Argentina by birth, though he does have Italian citizenship and has played briefly for the Italian national team. So far in Premier League play for Southampton (who have been something of a pleasant surprise), Osvaldo has scored 1 goal in 7 games played.
- Davide Santon – At just 22 years of age, Santon is establishing himself as a regular defenseman for Newcastle United, and has appeared in 7 games thus far in the 2013-14 Premier League. Santon is a player to watch for future national team appearances as well.
- Marcello Trotta – The young striker is unlikely to see much time, if any, in Premier League play this season. He’s signed with Fulham, but is on loan in League One to Brentford (as he was for the better part of last season). Still, at just 21, Trotta has an opportunity to rise within the Premier League.