Something that flew somewhat under the radar this past week was the announcement that Marcello Trotta has signed a new contract with the club. For those that reacted to news, the response was pretty muted, with many expressing a mild surprise that the club had seen sufficient talent and upside to offer new terms.
Martin Jol’s recent comments regarding Trotta were also interesting:
“Trotta is a goal machine – if he gets the ball in the box he’s very good. But when the ball’s on the deck he’s got to learn to be a bit more composed, in the air with crosses as well.Outside of the box we’re still trying to teach him one or two more things, he should work on his performance.For him going to Wycombe was a great step for him. We have to wait for the next couple of weeks and see if he can get something else.We believe in him. Hopefully he can step up another gear in the next few months.”
So the manager and the club evidently see something that most of us do not. What could it be?
Trotta is currently 19. The hottest young Scottish striker on the market is Jordan Rhodes, aged 22. How does the former compare to the latter in terms of career trajectory? If we look back at the 2009/10 season, the year Rhodes was 19/20 years old ( the season that Trotta is currently entering) we see his explosion onto the scene in league one – 19 goals in 47 appearances in the league.
How does Trotta compare? We can partly answer this due to his highly successful loan spell last season at Wycombe Wanderers where he bagged 8 goals in 8 games. This is a season ‘ahead’ of the trajectory set by Rhodes. Would it be wildly optimistic to propose that Trotta might be able, over the course of the season, to match Rhodes’s league one goal tally from 2009/10?
Considering that Trotta was a revelation for an awful Wycombe Wanderers side who were relegated one off the bottom of the league and that he was put into an underperforming, unfamiliar team at incredibly short notice, it might not be. Remember Rhodes was part of a well functioning and attack minded Huddersfield team. He was able to forge a relationship with his team mates over pre-season and hit the ground running in August.
It would be absurd to suggest that this will definitely happen. But it might explain why Fulham are happy to sign him up long term and are making positive noises about him in the press.
Alex is a Fulham fan based in SW London.
This is an optimistic post that will no doubt be dragged out in future to remind him how wrong he was.