Antonio Conte is not often known for his faith in youth, normally choosing to bring in the finished article as opposed to creating one. But it appears he may have a young man in his ranks who is just too good to ignore.
Sebastiano Esposito grabbed Inter’s third goal in their 4-0 demolition of Genoa on Saturday and the 17-year-old looks to be the real deal.
While it will be very difficult for the striker to break in to the starting lineup on a regular basis – given the form of both Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez – Esposito is certainly one for the future and can flourish in Serie A.
However, it is fair to say that many of us know very little about him. So here’s all you need to know about Inter’s prized asset.
Inter’s Second Youngest Serie A Scorer
With the Nerazzurri already two goals to the good, Lukaku decided to delegate penalty-taking responsibilities to Esposito when Inter were awarded a spot kick. The attacker made no mistake, rifling his penalty past Andrei Radu in the Genoa goal.
This made Esposito Inter’s second youngest scorer in a Serie A match, only behind Mario Corso. This was his first ever league start, and only his fourth ever Serie A appearance.
Inter’s Youngest Champions League Debutant
At 17 years of age, Esposito has already played against Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona in Europe’s elite competition.
His substitute appearance in Inter’s 2-0 win over Dortmund back in late October made him the Italian side’s youngest player to make a Champions League appearance.
While Beppe Beregomi made his debut at a younger age in the 1981 European Cup, Inter haven’t fielded someone as young as Esposito in the era of the Champions League.
Prolific at International Level
While he is yet to make his senior debut, Esposito has been a goal machine at youth international level.
In appearances for the Under-16s to the Under-19s of Italy, he has netted 25 goals in 37 games, also helping the Azzurri Under-17 side to the European Championship final.
With his stock ever rising, it appears it may only be a matter of time before Esposito makes his senior Italy debut.
While Esposito’s best position is through the middle, the 17-year-old can also play on either side of a front three. This doesn’t really matter given the system Conte employs at Inter, but it shows the versatility and talents of the teenager.
However, Conte clearly has faith in the youngster, playing him up top with Lukaku in place of the suspended Martinez at the weekend.