Inter’s youth academy and scouting system has begun to produce and find a decent amount of talent in last years. Amongst the current bunch who are one step away from big football, one player seems to be head and shoulders above his team-mates. Not literally as he is just above 170 centimeters, but in terms of ability. His name is Daniel Bessa.
He was born in Sao Paulo but with Italian heritage. Inter noticed him when he was playing for Atletico Paranaense’s youth team and brought him to Italy in 2008 (if you can speak Italian, read more about the interesting story of his arrival here). He turned 19 this month but he has only broken onto the scene this season. He first gained wider recognition when he shined in few of Inter’s early friendlies, but he was eventually sent back to the Primavera side.
He has been the star of the show there, especially in the NextGen series where Inter reached semi-finals on Wednesday night, but despite that, he hasn’t gotten another chance to show himself with the first team and probably will not get one before the summer.
As Inter fan I had only seen him on limited occasions (one other full game before this game, some personal highlight videos and longer highlights of NextGen games), but when I have seen him, he has always looked as if he could and probably should play at better level than youth football. I thought it would be injustice to this talent if Inter brings in 1 or 2 new attacking names for first team without even trying him out. Even more so considering that Mauro Zarate is not offering anything to the team anyway.
However the game against Sporting in NextGen was a chance to check him out against a good opponent because Sporting had probably been hailed as the favorites of the tournament after the group stage alongside Barcelona.
One Game Report on Daniel Bessa
Personal Information (Transfermarkt.co.uk):
Name: Daniel Bessa
Date of Birth: 14.01.1993 (age 19)
Nationality: Italian & Brazilian
Height: 173 cm
Current Club: Internazionale
Basic Playing Information:
Position: Attacking midfielder
Preferred Foot: Right
Statistics of Last 2 Seasons (according to Transfermarkt.co.uk):
2011/2012: Inter (U19) – 12 games, 5 goals, 2 yellow cards, 1 red card, 870 minutes played
2010/2011: Inter (U19) – 18 games, 1 goal, 3 yellow cards, 948 minutes played
Note: Not in this statistic are the NextGen Series games where Bessa has scored 3 goals and Primavera Cup.
Game Watched To Make The Report:
Sporting Lisbon (U19) – Internazionale (U19) 0:1 (NextGen Series, 25.01.2012)
Note: The game is available on Inter’s YouTube channel.
Bessa started as a trequartista in a 4-4-1-1 formation, behind striker Samuele Longo with a relatively free role drifting from one wing to the other. He played 72 minutes.
The game was even and dull in the first half, but in the second half, after Inter scored the goal, it was dominated by Sporting who were trying desperately to break down Inter’s defence.
Bessa played a part in the game’s only goal, taking the corner which was headed in by Ibrahima Mbaye.
Performance of Bessa:
Bessa is one of those players who you only need to look at to understand that this is could be a very gifted player. You would even guess his position would be a second striker or an attacking midfielder. He has the perfect build – short so he has a low centre of balance and also strong, which means he won’t be pushed aside when in possession of the ball or fighting for it.
For all his talent, there are still rough edges, few signs of inexperience and the usual issue of not really knowing how a player will react once he’s thrown into the deep, playing for one of world’s biggest club.
Physically matches expectations
As I wrote about his body-build, I thought he had the perfect build for an attacking player and he proved this in the game too.
To start off, he did seem to have pace and acceleration as well as a quick turn. Although it is not really part of his game to take on defenders for pace, he did not look second best to anyone when having to sprint. The few times he did use his explosion, it caused problems for Sporting’s defence.
He had strength and a good center of balance too, riding a few challenges, always able to protect the ball from defenders who were trying to force him from behind into making a mistake or showing too much of the ball.
If there is criticism then he, quite typically for young talented players, was not able to play very intensely. He was much more active at the start of the game and seemed to have a few lazy periods once tiredness kicked in.
Strong preference of the right foot
Technically speaking, the player showed to have very good skills. His first touch was quality and with the ball on his feet, especially first couple of touches, he was unpredictable, even doing one short pass by using the rabona.
His passing was good but somewhat hindered by the fact that he did not seem to have a very good understanding with Longo despite those two playing together for some time now. He did not showcase his long-range passing in open play, but at least his corners were dangerous, one of them creating the only goal.
But there are some technical difficulties – he does not use his left foot very much. In one situation it really showed as he tried to dribble centrally, but since he tried to cut inside from right using his right foot, he left the ball exposed for the defenders between him and the goal. As result he ended up losing it.
I’d expect more dribbling from him because at the moment, he either leaves the opponent dead with the first touch or he looks for a safe passing option (in fairness to him, his team-mates don’t offer a chance for good forward pass very often). I think he has it in him to actually take the ball past someone and he has shown this by dribbling 3-4 players in a NextGen game against PSV earlier this season.
He also managed to put his only shot of the night over the bar, but that was a difficult volley that would’ve been worth seeing if it had actually gone in. He received a throw in, burst free of any possible marker and smacked a looping shot straight from the air but unfortunately it flew over the bar by a meter or two.
Seems to have character
To move to Italy at a young age and to make an impact is not easy. Even more difficult would be to become an important player for a team like Inter. But a strong character helps… and at least on the football pitch Bessa seems to have it. He is confident of his own ability and he is not afraid to command and criticise his team-mates if it is necessary
Still, at times he can do with a little self-criticism too, as even at his current technical or physical limits he is probably not pushing himself to the limit at times. His position requires a lot of involvement in the game, but Bessa, as mentioned before, could be a tad too static in some periods.
His reading of the game and decisions with the ball are still not ideal either, but I’d say motivating himself to move bit more and improving his left foot should be priorities number one for him in this next half a season if he wants to give Claudio Ranieri no other choice but to make him a first team member.
What level do I think he is:
I think Bessa is indeed a player who is possibly amongst the best players in the youth level in Italy, definitely being the best in this Inter squad.
In this period where Inter might actually need extra legs in attack with constant injuries to the likes of Wesley Sneijder and Diego Forlan and underperforming Zarate, I would like to see Ranieri give him a go rather than playing someone like Joel Obi whose playing level cries out for a loan move.
My gut feeling is and has been that once he can show himself for more than 10 minutes with the first team of Inter in a competitive match, he won’t be back with the youth squad. But it is not a disaster to be in Primavera squad either, it gives him more time to fix the flaws and with the Viareggio tournament and final game or two of the NextGen coming up, he will play similar age opponents who are on a good level.
For now, he is largely a player who is often only seriously involved in the game for few moments in the game, but when he is involved, something good comes out of it.
What level do I think he can reach:
If he can become more involved in what is going around on the pitch and if he learns to use left foot when dribbling, then he has all the tools available to even become Italy’s player of the generation even, assuming he does pick to play for Italy as he has already been part of an Italy’s under 18 training camp last November.
However for now, only way to judge him are the youth games and some friendlies against lower league sides with Inter. There he has always been top-notch, even if team-mates make it difficult for him to look good.
Inter might also try to see how he could play in wider areas in a possible 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation as there are already two young attacking midfielders in the squad, one of whom, Riccardo Alvarez, would probably always feel uncomfortable out wide.
If I had to pay 10 million euros rating: N/A
I’d say his realistic price at this moment, considering the level he has played at, the talent he possesses and the risks, would be around 3 million euro mark, but whether Inter would sell for that? I highly doubt.
Talent rating: 9/10
I might be biased, but every time I see him, be it in a full game or in highlights of Inter Primavera games, he just seems like he is so much more talented than everyone else. Natural Brazilian technique, paired with a perfect physique and strong Italian influence – unless something bad happens, it seems to be written in the stars.