Once dubbed Gianluigi Buffon’s heir after breaking onto the scene as an unknown 17-year-old in 2014, Simone Scuffet now finds himself joining Turkish side Kasimpasa on loan until the end of the season. After a relatively rough start to the year as Udinese’s number one, the young goalkeeper was usurped by new arrival Juan Musso for the starting position, and has since been reduced to a bench role. In fact, Scuffet hasn’t featured for the Zebrette since a 3-0 loss to Napoli at the end of October.
With playing time hard to come by, Scuffet decided a change of scenery was needed and is now closing in on a loan move to regain some much needed match fitness and more importantly, confidence. While the keeper has demonstrated glimpses of his promise over the course of the last few seasons, continuity has been hard to come by thus far, and he will need to find consistency in Turkey if he is to deliver on the hype.
This loan move will benefit Udinese in the long run, and it will also help Scuffet break free from the expectations heaped onto him from Italian media since he’s been a late teenager. Free from the critical eyes of the Italian press, the 22-year-old can focus on various elements of his game, without fearing what will be written about him the next day. It’s not easy to be compared to Buffon from your first game and eventually it takes its toll on you. A move to Turkey will make those comparisons a distant memory, and will allow Scuffet to become his own player for the first time in his career.
On a pure technical level, the move will help Scuffet hone his skills, and hopefully gain more command of his eighteen-yard box. Since emerging as one of Italy’s young talents, his shot-stopping has never been called into question and remains one of his strengths today. If goalkeeping was only about saving the ball, he wouldn’t be on his way to Turkey. Where Scuffet is lacking, rather, is his inability to control his box and claim crosses, often resorting to punching them in the path of opponents. The Turkish league has proven to be physical, at times, and could help him in this regard.
If he wants to have success at the top level,this is one element of his game that needs a lot of work and will surely be an area of focus over the next six months. Consistent game time is needed to achieve this, something Udinese couldn’t guarantee him until the end of the season, especially considering they’re only five points off the last relegation spot.
With the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Mattia Perin and most recently Sampdoria’s Emil Audero stealing all the headlines and making Scuffet a distant afterthought in the goalkeeping department, it’s time the 22-year-old focuses on his own game before it’s too late and his promise fizzles. A move to Turkey, while a bit off-path, is still a the step in the right direction for Scuffet.
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