Torino defender Armando Izzo may have never featured in one of Italy’s top sides, but the reported Arsenal and Everton target is certainly very confident in his abilities.
“I’m happy,” the 27-year-old told Gazzetta dello Sport recently. “Everyone likes to be courted, but I have another four years on my contract with Torino. I want to succeed and prove my worth: I don’t like it when people say that I’m just a good player.
“I’m worth more than that. Among the Italian defenders, Chiellini aside, I don’t see anyone else better than me or more determined than I am.”
Determination is certainly one of this player’s best qualities, earning a move to Turin after initially being handed a six-year suspension for failing to report match-fixing relating to a Comorrah clan based in Secondigliano whilst at Avellino. The ban was eventually reduced, and then overturned, allowing the FIGC to declare that Izzo could return to playing duties with Genoa.
It was only last summer when he made the move for around €8m from Genoa to Torino last summer. The centre-back has since slotted perfectly into a well-drilled backline at Torino under the tutelage of former Watford boss Walter Mazzarri.
Izzo would play in all but one of the Granata’s 38 matches last term, and the single game missed through suspension was one in which his side conceded three goals versus AS Roma. Torino finished in a credible 7th position having conceded just 37 times in total, only one more than Napoli in second.
The defender highly accomplished in his position, reads the game well and can pass the ball with a good level of accuracy. Last term, he averaged 2.1 tackles per game as well as a league-high 2.4 interceptions among players with 30 appearances or more as well as an average rate of 3.8 clearances. It’s therefore easy to see why the Italian has been the subject of interest abroad, having also made a good contribution to the attack with four goals and an assist.
Recently called up to the Italian national team by Roberto Mancini, this player would represent good value for money in the Premier League with reports of a fee of around £22.5 million. However, according to Italian football transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio, Torino president Urbano Cairo is not keen to sell one of his very best assets, and has stated that the player is not on the market.
It may take an improved contract offer for Izzo to remain with Torino but – like with everything else in the summer transfer window – every club owner is open to making deals for the right price, no matter what they say in public.
The only aspects of the game left to prove for this player are whether his lack of top-level experience would ultimately be telling in the Premier League, and also if he can thrive outside Mazzarri’s well-honed system at Torino.
If he can do so, his bold claims about being placed second only to Chiellini in terms of Italian defenders may just prove to be true.