Loan ranger Robert Acquafresca hoping to rediscover potency with another Rossoblu

When Robert Acquafresca joined Bologna on Wednesday, the Rossoblu became the sixth different club of his relatively short professional career and his fifth move in three seasons. The 23-year-old striker has been touted as a future Azzurri star, but with the constant hopping around the peninsula, from Genoa to Bergamo and now Cagliari to Bologna, the young forward has struggled for consistency.
Blessed with good pace, movement and an eye for goal, Acquafresca started his career with his hometown club Torino after joining the Granata at the age of six. Torino had won promotion to Serie A in 2005, but due to financial irregularities, were not allowed to compete in Italy’s top flight after an FIGC ruling and it was Acquafresca’s precious qualities which saw Inter swoop for him that summer when he was 17, immediately loaning him to Treviso.
Despite the Veneto outfit’s relegation from Serie A in his first season at the Stadio Omobono Tenni, Acquafresca impressed in Serie B with 11 goals in 35 games. His form at club level saw him represent the Azzurini at under-18 and under-19 level during this period, having chosen to represent the country of his birth and shunning the chance to play for Poland where his mother was born.
He was on the move to Cagliari in 2007 however, as part of the transfer which saw the Sardinian’s Honduran icon David Suazo move to Inter. Acquafresca had big shoes to fill at the Stadio Sant’Elia at the age of 19, but he immediately settled with the Isolani and bagged a very respectable 10 goals in 32 league games. More impressively, he made 29 league starts in his second season in Sardinia and duly repaid the faith Max Allegri had shown in him – his 14 goals helping his side to a lofty ninth place finish. Further Azzurrini caps at various differing age groups followed as Acquafresca began to grab headlines.
Yet his stay on Italy’s second island was ended abruptly in a move which saw him move north to join Genoa, again as a part-exchange in a deal which saw the Grifone’s Argentine legend Diego Milito join Inter. Acquafresca’s stay in the port city was a frustrating one, limited to just 10 appearances and two goals, and his subsequent loan move to Atalanta in January 2010 didn’t work out either, pulling on the Nerazzurri shirt on 12 occasions but finding the net just once.
A transfer last summer saw him head back to the sunnier climes of Cagliari for a second spell with the Isolani. After a slow start, Acquafresca emerged from the shadow of Alessandro Matri after the latter moved to Juventus in the winter window, and ended the campaign with eight goals from 37 games, the highlight being a brace away at Lecce.
Another transfer window has meant another move for Acquafresca, this time to Bologna on loan. On his arrival, he declared to La Repubblica that “my national team is Bologna” adding “I am expecting a positive season for me and for the team, the goal is to stay here a long time.”
Acquafresca probably didn’t choose those words by accident as he knows after two relatively disappointing years following such early promise, another below-par campaign may mean the tag of another nearly-man. With an opportunity to play alongside the talismanic and experienced Marco Di Vaio and to be supplied with ammunition by the likes of Gaston Ramirez from midfield, it could be third time lucky for Robert with another Rossoblu.

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