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Gianluca Busio completes transfer to Serie A side Venezia

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Gianluca Busio’s breakout 2021 figured to end with a big transfer move for the talented young midfielder, and after helping the U.S. men’s national team win the Concacaf Gold Cup, Busio can now set his sights on making the jump to one of the world’s top leagues.

Busio has completed his transfer to Serie A side Venezia, Sporting Kansas City announced on Thursday.

The 19-year-old was in the midst of a breakout season with Sporting Kansas City, emerging as a game-changing option in midfield, and playing well enough to earn his first call-up to the USMNT. He parlayed that into a prominent role in the team’s run to the Gold Cup title, and will now make the jump to Serie A, where he will be joining fellow American Tanner Tessmann (and potentially Erik Palmer-Brown) at Venezia, along with Juventus and USMNT star Weston McKennie and AS Roma fullback Bryan Reynolds.

“This is a very proud moment for me and my family,” Busio said. “I’d like to thank everyone who has made it possible, especially all the people at Sporting KC who have helped me become the player and person I am today.

Sporting will always have a special place in my heart and I’m grateful to have started my career at such an amazing club. The people, the fans, the city — everything about Kansas City was perfect and it will always feel like home. This is the next step in my career and I’m really excited to join Venezia.”

Busio made 70 appearances for Sporting KC in all competitions, recording eight goals and nine assists. The 2021 season has been his first as a consistent impact starter, blossoming in a deeper-lying midfield role under head coach Peter Vermes, who helped him develop into a more well-rounded two-way midfielder after originally being more of an attack-minded player in his earlier youth national team days.

“Gianluca has embodied all of the core values we look for in a player,” Sporting Kansas City Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes said. “He has consistently put the team first while demonstrating tremendous professionalism and an unwavering commitment to improving his game and helping the club win. Gianluca is a special talent with outstanding character, and we wish him nothing but the best at Venezia.”

Busio’s growth as a player has been clear to see over the past year, but he will now face an even more difficult challenge competing in Serie A. He struggled at times with the physicality of international competition at the Gold Cup, but if he can earn consistent playing time in Italy, it could help sharpen his game to the point of being able to seriously compete for a starting role in Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT midfield.

A North Carolina native, Busio joined the Sporting KC academy in 2016, and signed a homegrown player contract with SKC a year later at the age of 15.

Busio’s departure is a big blow for Sporting KC, but the Western Conference leaders have already shown during the Gold Cup that it has the depth to cope with Busio’s absence.

The next step for Busio will be fighting for a starting role on a Venezia side set to make its return to Serie A after earning promotion last season. Busio’s play at the Gold Cup has put him in the picture for consideration for the USMNT World Cup qualifying squad, but earning minutes at Venezia will be key to his chances of securing a place for the September World Cup qualifiers.

What do you think of Busio’s move to Venezia? Seeing him thrive in Serie A? Think Italy is a bad fit for him? Would you call him in for the September USMNT qualifiers?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Struck me as a game kid but a bit predictable in his moves, relying more on speed than guile, but only saw him at the Gold Cup so maybe not the complete picture. Wish him well.

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  2. They have an American owner and my bet is he speaks at least some Italian, that would be positive. I will be curious how much he gets used. I will point out that the idea he gets taught there conflates two separate player paths. If he is a developmental, which he would be age appropriate for, he gets taught but not first team minutes. If he is a first team transfer, they are buying a relatively finished product. They are not going to spend a bunch of time working with him. He is either ready or not. He will get chastized more than fixed. If you want him coached up he needs to go the Che/Richards route and work back through their system. If you want to crow about his first team minutes he needs to show up ready. Unless you’re a backup keeper or a youth player Europe is generally not in the business of being your teacher. They are cherry picking players to see the field. If they have to fix you they signed the wrong person and you will be loaned or sold on.

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    • At 6.5 million they’re going to have trouble selling him or loaning him if they don’t fix some of the problems that would cause them to sell him though. He’ll get opportunities because that is big money for Venezia and Italy doesn’t have YTs like Germany.

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      • you’re missing the american owner part. this is like bob bradley at swansea. the owner can force an american. the owner is rich. the owner can order him signed. the question is does the coach play him. i like him but if he jogs around not playing defense when tired, like he just did sometimes, he won’t see the field.

  3. I haven’t seen him all that much outside of this last tournament. Suffice it to say that from what I saw I don’t think he is the most promising youngster his age in MLS. Good luck to him since Serie A will be a great place for him to hone his skills and, if he gets chances to play, reach his potential.

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    • I will say this if you look at Aaronson before his move to Salzburg he wasn’t very good for the NT, for Union he’d play really well but then disappear for long stretches. He made a move to a club that just fit his ability, had a manager that believed in him, and a supporting cast that kept pressure away from him. I don’t know that Busio has that in Venezia time will tell. I’m really worried about what happens if they get off to a slow start with two teenage American CMs and reportedly an American CB in Palmer-Brown. Bottom line though is Busio has to learn to quicker to respond to pressure and be tougher in the tackle or he’s not going to play. If he can progress like Aaronson look out we’ve got another weapon in the Arsenal.

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  4. Wish him all the best but he is going to have to win more of his duels and when he gets beat he has to hustle better in making a defensive recovery run.

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  5. The Italian league has a well established track record for playing a disciplined, technical style. If memory serves, Venezia is a newly promoted side. They don’t have a ton of experience in the first division and don’t have deep pockets so if they’re spending a money on Busio & Tessmann instead of buying more established players you have to think they think enough of them to give them some game-time.
    I don’t think Busio is ready to be a full time starter for Venezia…nor is he ready to be a frequent player for the USMNT A-Team….but Venezia could be the perfect place for him to refine his game. Busio & Tessmann playing together could become a very nice partnership for the USMNT in a couple years. They may never be starters…but could become good back-ups.

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  6. This is incredible business for KC. Busio while a nice player has been physically outmatched defensively and at times a liability with KC or US.

    KC will be just as good without him and are cashing in $6-11 million.

    Wish him well and hope he muscles up a bit!

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  7. Proud of the kid! This is another big moment for MLS/SKC/US Soccer. Play the kids. Let them compete. Let them grow. Sale them for CASH ?

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  8. Deep lying midfielder in a league that made that position (regista) famous / important / valuable?
    Seems like the right move and kudos to Busio on this challenge!

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