Sky Sports Scout, in association with Wyscout, reports on Italian keeper Simone Scuffet
By Sky Sports Scout - Tweet me: @skysportscout
Last Updated: 21/05/14 12:22pm
Sky Sports Scout is our exciting feature where we scour the globe, in partnership with Wyscout, looking out for the best talent and bring you a report on what we find.
Our scout - using all the tools at his disposal, which now includes the world's leading scouting resource Wyscout - will report back and you can comment on what you think of their appraisal.
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The latest player to be spotlighted is Italian goalkeeper Simone Scuffet.
The scout reports...
Simone Scuffet could be heading to the World Cup finals with Italy this summer. Who? That would be the question asked by most people who do not keep a close eye on Serie A but thankfully the scout is here to help.
Scuffet has emerged as first-choice goalkeeper with Udinese this season and is already being heralded as the new Gigi Buffon, and his early appearances certainly seem to suggest that this is more than just mere hype.
Born in Remanzacco in Northern Italy, just a matter of miles from the Croatian-border, Scuffet began playing at an early age, and was just eight when he started played for local side Aurora Buonacquisto.
He moved onto another junior club in the shape of Moimacco, but after just 12 months with them, he was spotted by his local professional side Udinese aged just ten. Few would predict that just seven years later he would be bound for the first team.
His progression was rapid through the youth ranks and he was called up by Italy's Under-17 squad in late 2012 and at this time he began training with Francesco Guidolin's first-team squad.
NAME: Simone Scuffet
AGE: 17 (31st May, 1996)
BORN: Remanzacco, Italy
FACTS:First local-born player to play for club in ten-years
Sky Sports Scout Ratings:
0-10 - No hoper
11-20 - Should look elsewhere
21-30 - Might not make it
31-40 - Has work to do
41-50 - Keep an eye on him
51-60 - Great prospect
61-70 - On his way to the top
71-80 - Already World-class
In February this year, suddenly Scuffet was given his chance. Zeljko Brkic was injured in the warm-up ahead of their game with Bologna but, instead of bringing in the more experienced understudy in Ivan Kelava, Guidolin opted for Scuffet.
Scuffet did not disappoint as he kept a clean sheet as Udinese claimed a 2-0 win. Since then Scuffet, despite being just 17, has been first choice and that is very much to the delight of the home support.
Amazingly Scuffet is the first player in a decade to hail from their home region of Friuli, the last being Fabio Rossitto. You have to go back to 1962 to do what Scuffet has done as an Udinese goalkeeper when a certain Dino Zoff made the breakthrough.
Scuffet's form has been nothing short of brilliant since making his bow, keeping eight clean sheets in 13 games and such has been the extent of his form, that he is already attracting the attention of national coach Cesare Prandelli.
Prandelli has convened a select group of young players to speak to and cast his eye over ahead of the World Cup finals, and Scuffet is among them. He could very well push for the final goalkeeping space in the squad behind Buffon and Paris Saint Germain's Salvatore Sirigu.
Scuffet has been labelled the new Buffon and/or Zoff since making his debut, and given how they made the breakthrough at such an early stage it is easy to see why.
But to find comparisons, you don't have to go too far. As Scuffet himself states, his idol is current Inter Milan goalkeeper and former Udinese No.1 Samir Handanovic, who has emerged as one of the top goalkeepers in world football in recent years.
And Scuffet has clearly taken a huge amount in from his time training alongside the Slovenian ace. Scuffet believes in doing the simple things, and the reason he is already No.1 at Udinese is because of that - he does do the simple things very well.
His handling is very good, he is agile, and his shot-stopping is outstanding. As with any young goalkeeper, positioning can be an issue, but his mantra of keeping it simple means he - as yet - is very rarely caught out of position or in a situation he does not want to be in. He won't come racing off his line unless there is no other option and even then he will think twice.
As with many goalkeepers his footwork could be improved, but given that is not an integral part of the modern game, it is not a problem at all.
Officially standing at 6ft 1in, he does look taller and he spreads his frame wonderfully well. All in all, the fact he is just 17 almost defies belief - and it is little wonder Serie A's giants are already beating a path to Udinese's door.
Juventus and AC Milan are reported to be leading the chase, with Arsenal also said to be showing a keen interest.
The scout says...
Safe to say when the time is right, Scuffet is going to have his pick of clubs. A wonderful talent, who may just miss out on the World Cup finals this summer, but one thing is for sure - his time will come.
The Scout rating...
Handling: 8 out of 10
Kicking: 7 out of 10
Agility: 8 out of 10
Judgement: 7 out of 10
Positioning: 7 out of 10
Shot-stopping: 8 out of 10
Current ability: 7 out of 10
Potential ability: 10 out of 10
OVERALL SCOUT RATING: 62/80
Current value: £10million
Potential value: £60million