Football has evolved. Modern-day football is nothing like it was 50 years ago. From playstyles to positions and tactics, everything has demanded change in the beautiful game in some or the other way. For instance, positions like the Libero‘s and the Sweeper‘s have become extinct due to the very different demanding nature of football today.
One such position that has similarly evolved is the full-back position in football. Some of the greatest full-back pairings have graced the game and left their mark and even etched their names in the history books. The role of a traditional full-back in a back-four system has no longer remained the same though. It is not just about clearing the lines and supporting your centre-backs.
In fact full-backs, these days are asked a lot more of them than an old-school winger. They are asked to cover their respective flanks for the team, making lung-busting runs, supporting their midfield, whip in dangerous crosses in the box, and lest forget the primary defensive duties on their shoulders.
Doing this for the entirety of 90 minutes is never easy and only a few full-backs in modern football have gone to achieve that. The likes of Andy Robertson, Kyle Walker, Reece James, Alphonso Davies, and Theo Hernandez are some of the brightest examples when it comes to the new-gen full-backs.
Another such defender rising through the ranks and making his name in football is Empoli’s, Fabiano Parisi. Parisi has been making waves in Serie A with Empoli since arriving in the summer of 2020. He has made over 50 league appearances in that time, scoring two goals. Indeed, that form has brought him to the attention of some bigger-hitting Serie A sides, with Atalanta and Fiorentina among those casting admiring glances his way. Likened to that of Liverpool’s left-back Andrew Robertson because of his tireless running and vicious crosses in the box, it is just a matter of time before one of the European elites get him in their squad.
The agent of Empoli left-back Fabiano Parisi, Mario Giuffredi, states that his client is wanted by Leeds United.
— Football Catalog (@FootballCatalog) September 8, 2022
How good is Fabiano Parisi?
Fabiano Parisi, 21, had humble beginnings as he turned out for little-known Pro Irpinia and Vigor Perconti in Italy. Benevento saw potential in Parisi but loaned him out to Avellino for a year before selling in 2019. After shining with Avellino, Parisi was sold again, this time to Empoli back in 2020, and he has been shining ever since.
An Italy Under-21 international with five caps to his name, Parisi has recorded two goals and three assists for Empoli. Parisi is understandably attracting major interest given that he is a natural left-back with a huge future ahead of him.
The 21-year-old is an attack-minded full-back who plays regularly for Empoli and he’s only getting better with time. He would not just be a good first-team addition but would also be an option for the future and one with high resale value. There were not too many credible links in the summer surrounding Parisi and that could be down to the fact that he did not want to leave the club so soon. A quick and confident full-back, Parisi enjoyed a solid season with Empoli as they finished 14th in 2021/22 Serie A, 11 points clear of 18th place.
Fabiano Parisi stats
Parisi has begun the 2022/23 season in impressive form with 3 continuous man-of-the-match performances on the trot, in one of which he also scored a goal. The left-back has already created 4 chances out from the wing, with 170 attempted passes to his game.
The Italian has also put in 13 crosses with a mediocre success ratio of 23.17%. It is his 1v1 defending and getting past his marker abilities that have been the talk of the town so far. Parisi has so far been engaged in 63 duels, with a success ratio of 66.7%. When it comes to dribbles, Parisi has attempted 17 with a success ratio of 70.5%.
How many of you expected Fabiano Parisi – 21 y/o – to top the most duels won charts? 🙄
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) September 7, 2022
Fabiano Parisi scout report
Whenever asked Fabiano Parisi about his future and some of the other Empoli players who have been linked with moves to bigger clubs, his answer is simple. He stresses that everyone is focused on winning matches for Empoli rather than anything else.
“No, we don’t think about our future, we are focused on the present. Then, of course, being linked to the big teams is stimulating and rewarding. But you have to keep your feet on the ground and think only of the next match.”
Parisi experienced his breakout season last year, making 25 appearances and registering one assist for the team as they finished in 14th place in Serie A. The 21-year-old joined the Tuscans in 2020, making the move from Avellino after previously coming up through the youth ranks at Benevento. He is also an Italian youth international, making five appearances for the U21 team so far.
Excellent with the ball at his feet, fans often confuse him for a winger. Similar to Liverpool’s Robertson, Parisi likes to cut in from the left flank and find a free man to pass the ball. This approach is different to that of most current left-backs, which helps the Italian standout. He isn’t quite the finished product yet, but watching him defend in 1v1 situations, Parisi shows signs of maturity ahead of his years and teams have started to take notice.
Fabiano Parisi transfer news
Leeds United had reached an agreement this summer with Serie A club Empoli to sign their left-back Fabiano Parisi, according to his agent. Mario Giuffredi, the 21-year-old’s representative said that other clubs like Atalanta, Torino, Fiorentina and Nice also struck similar agreements with the Italian side.
However, the player eventually decided to stay but a move in January is very much still on the cards for him. His agent also confirmed Leeds are also looking at Parisi with a possible January swoop in mind.
Speaking in an interview, Mario Giuffredi admits Leeds are among those keen. “Yes, the last few days of the market have been very hectic. I consider him [Parisi] a great team player, he can be the transfer man for January or for the summer. He is of the highest standard. He can aspire to important goals.
“We had many clubs, from Atalanta to Torino to Fiorentina, Leeds and Nice, also in agreement with Empoli.”
The production is rare these days, when it comes to the left-back quality of Fabiano Parisi and teams around Europe know that. If his start to the 2022/23 season is anything to go by, it is just a matter of time till he plays in the upper echelons of football.