De Zerbi: ‘This goal can help Raspadori’

Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi praised captain Giacomo Raspadori’s performance in the 2-2 draw with Roma. ‘He has enormous potential’.

The Neroverdi had left out two key players for the match against the Giallorossi, as Gian Marco Ferrari and Manuel Locatelli are in quarantine after returning from the Italy squad.

The two players have tested negative but due to the coronavirus outbreak in the Azzurri team group, De Zerbi said Sassuolo decided to protect their own camp.

“Beyond how the game went, which was played very well by my team, it annoys us to be accused of giving little regularity to the championship for the choices we have made these days,” De Zerbi told Sky Sport Italia after the match.

“From my point of view, we have behaved well. I don’t want to talk about how others behave, but being accused of distorting the championship was something that only we in football can really question.

“So, I was very keen on today’s game.”

Giacomo Raspadori was given the captain’s armband on Saturday and scored the late equaliser to secure a point for the Neroverdi.

“I already had it in my mind to give him the captaincy,” De Zerbi said. “He grew up here and I have a picture of him on my phone when he was a rookie with the captain’s armband.

“For militancy and because it’s a beautiful image for him and for the dreams that can be realised in football.

“I spoke to [Andrea] Consigli, who would be the captain, and [Francesco] Magnanelli, and I asked them for their opinion, and they agreed with my choice, so I had no doubts.”

De Zerbi said the goal against Roma can help the youngster on his path but is wary of complimenting 21-year-old too much.

“You have to understand the path he will take. It must be said, but the goal against Roma may make it easier.

“Young people must be defended when they play badly, but not exalted when they play well. He’s certainly a player with enormous potential.”

Let’