Date:Friday October 20 2006
Blackburn Rovers Football Club is renowned for its academy, which produces quality footballers. But who will be the next big thing, the next Damien Duff or David Dunn?
Following a recent article on Rovers' promising young products Vital Blackburn member Clint made this, among other points on one such highly rated academy product:
"Raffaele De Vita in the reserves, in all accounts as good a player as Rossi and Lupoli at Utd and Arsenal though no one talks about him as Hughes seems to shield the younger players till they are ready..."
I don't know a lot about Raffaele De Vita but do know this.
The 19-year-old Italian forward born in Rome is making excellent progress having come through the Rovers Academy. In the 2004-2005 season he scored 2 goals in 14 Academy appearances 10 of which came as a substitute.
In last seasons 2005-2006 campaign in 21 Academy outings De Vita would score 8 goals before he was promoted to the reserves at the tail end of the season. He scored a very respectable 6 goals in 8 games; one of these games can as a substitute, therefore seeing him end the season as joint top goalscorer in the reserves.
Manchester United's Giuseppe Rossi who has an amazing record in the United reserves is on loan with Newcastle United until January, but already has first team experience at Old Trafford having scored several goals and is very highly thought of. He recently gained International recognition with Italy at under-21 level having chosen them ahead of the United States who wanted him to represent them during last summers World Cup Finals.
Arturo Lupoli has a phenomenal strike rate in the reserves with Arsenal but with so much quality in front of him, apart from appearances in the League Cup he hasn't really had a chance to with the Gunners, although he too is highly rated. Like Rossi he is currently out on loan to gain first team experience with Championship side Derby County with whom he is scoring goals regularly.
If Di Vita is anywhere in a the class of Rossi and Lupoli Rovers have an absolute gem within their midst and although Hughes likes to shield and protect his youngsters if he can live up to early promise then his name will be one you will hear more of sooner, rather than later.
Remember the name Raffaele Di Vita...
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Date:Friday October 20 2006
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