Argentine Pride: Rodrigo De Paul

Given the chance to join Fiorentina in the summer before ultimately deciding to stay with Udinese, Rodrigo De Paul will be feeling a palpable sense of vindication regarding this decision in light of his sensational form so far this campaign.

Having scored six goals and laid on three assists, the 24-year-old has remarkably been directly involved in 75% of the Little Zebras’ goals in Serie A, which is the highest figure for any club in the top five leagues in Europe (statistic provided by Opta).

Udinese Calcio's Rodrigo De Paul, De Paul brilliant finishRodrigo De Paul’s brilliant finish

Udinese Calcio's Rodrigo De Paul, De Paul assistRodrigo De Paul’s assist

Lighting up Italy through his dazzling performances, despite playing in a struggling Udinese team who recently sacked former manager Julio Velazquez, De Paul’s almost single-handedly ran his team’s offensive adventures.

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A master at linking midfield and attack with his exemplary movement, this aspect of his armoury has given him a formidable foundation from which to undertake his work. Granted plentiful freedom to move across the attacking half of the pitch to help progress attacks, he’s superbly chosen when to drop deep, venture wide, push high or operate between the lines.

Udinese Calcio's Rodrigo De Paul, De Paul superb movementRodrigo De Paul’s superb movement

Udinese Calcio's Rodrigo De Paul, De Paul brilliant space findingRodrigo De Paul’s brilliant space finding

In addition, the way his head scans, awareness, and understanding of exploitable spaces has ensured he’s drawn one or more markers to create space for others, plus expertly timed his movement on the blindside of his markers, has further complicated things for his adversaries. Forever demanding possession and eager to get involved and pull the strings for his team, his capacity to disorganise stopping structures has been crucial.

So adept at manufacturing overloads and positioning himself in advantageous locations to bypass the opposition, he’s supplemented this perfectly with his technical mastery. Blessed with quick feet, a slick first touch and polished ball control, his dribbling is a tremendous asset in terms of unbalancing his foes. Effective at overcoming his tracker in 1v1 duels, his repertoire of silky skills, feints, shimmies and shoulder drops have added some essential unpredictability for Udinese.

Complementing the afore with his razor sharp turning circle and rapid changes of pace and direction, De Paul is exceptional at gaining separation from his man to wreak havoc.

The fleet-footed playmaker then uses his passing to provide extra menace. Imaginative, ingenuitive and precise, De Paul’s ability to unlock and destabilise his opposition deserves special mention. Although he can sometimes be overly ambitious with his pass selection, his unwavering confidence to pinpoint colleagues in advanced zones has been key in creating openings for the Friuliani. Whether through his intricate combination play, vertical line breaking passes, lofted through balls or neat crosses and cutbacks, his distribution has seen him service his attackers with incision.

Udinese Calcio's Rodrigo De Paul, De Paul combination workRodrigo De Paul’s combination work

Playing with swagger, determination, and dynamism, his tremendous form has duly been rewarded by him being chosen for Argentina’s squad for the last two international match days. Many other clubs have also stood up and taken notice of his scintillating output, for the likes of AC Milan, Inter Milan, Napoli, Sevilla, FC Porto are all reportedly keen to acquire him.

Meanwhile, statistically speaking, the former Valencia man has punctuated his impact with his 3.9 key passes pg, 4.1 dribbles pg, amazing 57% conversion rate, 2.3 shots pg and 4.3 def actions pg.

Such a complete and multifaceted player, while it’s unlikely he’ll remain at Udinese beyond this term, his efforts will unquestionably be pivotal in preventing his team from being relegated.

Whatever the future holds, it’s been encouraging to see De Paul, who first arrived in Europe in 2014, finally fulfilling his enormous potential.

His decision to stay with Udinese has definitely been the right choice.

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Can this Argentine talent help Udinese stay alive at top Italian football league, Serie A? Give Rodrigo De Paul and the rest of Udinese Calcio an Asian handicap support when betting with Eastbridge’s Skype betting service of through VOdds.

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