The die seems to be cast. Lorenzo Insigne, the Napoli captain and Euro 2020 winner, will leave his boyhood club to join Toronto in Major League Soccer. What does the Lorenzo Insigne scouting report say about the experienced player and how will he justify his place on the Toronto FC payroll?
Lorenzo Insigne scouting report
Let’s take a look at Insigne’s reported contract and his career to date.
Insigne wasn’t bothered by the riches in the past. He stuck with Napoli and became a kingpin in their offense; striding to take the club back to the apex of Italian football. Suitors like Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan and a handful of overseas clubs were told to back off as Insigne said he’d stay at the club ‘for as a long as possible’.
Yet with his current contract set to expire in the summer, the offer of one of the biggest MLS contracts ever and the opportunity to play without hindering his beloved Napoli seems to have swayed his decision. After all, a reported $13,000,000 per year deal is hard to decline.
It’s the first time in a few years that a Major League Soccer franchise has spent money quite as remarkable as this. After all, China’s league was operating the same vein of cosmic money for out-of-this-world soccer superstars system until recently. This new Insigne contract, however, does show growth that the league can once again attract top stars in their prime, a throwback to the David Beckham period.
Even on that salary, Insigne is unlikely to short-change the Canadian side given his current ability at the top of Serie A and the shift in quality to MLS. He’s arguably playing some of his best football right now.
The BMO Field faithful can expect a lot from Insigne, given his exceptional passing ability and range which has seen him become the fourth top player for assists in Serie A history. His 72 assists put him above the likes of Antonio Candreva, Miralem Pjanic and Andrea Pirlo.
Experience and mentality
No doubt he’ll also be able to help with dead-ball situations given his accuracy and power to find the net from free kicks. Highlight reels of Insigne best goals could feature only such strikes. Two examples that span his career is his 30-yard effort against Dortmund in 2013. Then in 2020, a curling effort against Roma.
While last season Toronto was able to get the ball around the team, doing it effectively was an issue. The team couldn’t pick apart opposition backlines frequently enough or give adequate service to primary striker Ayo Akinola – who has subsequently left the club.
Insigne’s experience and mentality will go some way to improving the club on and off the pitch. Canadian trialists can only get better training with one of Italy’s best national team members and Euro 2020 winner.
Insigne has shown his steely grit and composure, especially from 12 yards with an impressive 34 penalties scored for Napoli, most recently stepping up twice in the same match against Bologna. He might have to share the occasional spot-kick with new teammate Alejandro Pozuelo given he’s got a decent record too – 10 scored from 10 for Toronto.
Bob Bradley hasn’t just acquired a superstar for the sake of it, the left wing was one of the club’s weaker positions with Tsubasa Endoh not performing and subsequently seeing his contract expire. Yeferson Soteldo can play there, but Bradley prefers him as a center-forward. Youngsters, Jacob Shaffelburg and Jayden Nelson are not ready yet, giving Insigne a responsibility.
Given the metropolitan area of Toronto holds the fourth largest population of Italians/people with Italian ancestry, Insigne’s arrival should at the very least invigorate local interest since the departure of Sebastian Giovinco a few years back.