When Juventus agreed to send young goalkeeper Emil Audero on loan to Sampdoria this summer, I’m not really sure what either player or the club that owned his contract were expecting when it came to any potential playing time right off the bat. But after Samp’s final game in the month of October, there is no question as to who is the man that the Blucerchiati
Audero has not just taken over as Sampdoria’s starter in goal — he’s absolutely run with the opportunity and is arguably having one of the best starts to the season of any goalkeeper in Serie A, let alone Europe. So much so that the 21-year-old Juventus loanee entered the weekend, one that was relatively bad times with Samp losing 3-2 to Milan on Sunday, with the best save percentage in all of Europe’s five major leagues and became the first Sampdoria goalkeeper to allow just four goals through his team’s first nine games of the season.
In a league that is starting to become full of talented goalkeepers in their early- or mid-20s, Audero is proving that he can be included in that group.
An Indonesian in the #Sampdoria history books.— Sampdoria English (@sampdoria_en) October 23, 2018
Emil #Audero's return of four goals conceded in nine games is the best record of any #Doria keeper, ever.
Well done to Emil and the entire #Samp defence! pic.twitter.com/LZvCX7SsCp
Sampdoria was left with a hole in goal when Emiliano Viviano decided to change countries and head off to Sporting. (He has yet to start a league gamer for Sporting, by the way.) So, in steps Audero, who moved to Samp on a loan-with-option-to-buy deal.
Sunday’s result means that Samp no longer has the best defense in Serie A after the first 10 games of the season. That title belongs to Inter, which has allowed just six goals. Sampdoria has now allowed seven goals through its opening 10 games. There’s another team in Serie A that can say that. That team is Juventus.
Of course, not all of Sampdoria’s early-season defensive exploits come down to the play of their young goalkeeper. There’s also a backline in front of him that’s playing pretty well these days. But a lot of it should since Audero has stepped into a squad that allowed SIXTY goals last season — the sixth-highest total in Serie A — and has quickly helped them become one of the best defensive teams in the whole damn league.
Pretty good for a young man who was born in Indonesia and worked his way up through Juve’s youth ranks to really start to make a name for himself at a position where sometimes it’s not until they’re in their mid-20s until they get their first chance at playing time in Serie A.
Audero was never the hyped prospect coming through the youth ranks like Gianluigi Donnarumma or one that has received call-ups to the Italian national team since his early-20s like Mattia Perin. As Donnarumma and Perin tried to position themselves for the first crack at the starting spot in a post-Gigi Buffon world with the Azzurri last spring, Audero impressed during a loan spell at Serie B side Venezia. (A loan spell where Audero played pretty damn well, I might add.)
That’s right, folks. Before becoming Samp’s starter this season, Audero barely had any kind Serie A experience to his name, with his lone appearance in Italy’s top flight coming in the 2016-17 season finale as a show of good faith from manager Max Allegri after Juve had clinched the Serie A title with room to spare a few weeks earlier.
Fast forward 18 months later and Audero is playing as well as any goalkeeper going on the peninsula right now. For a 21-year-old getting the first considerable amount of Serie A playing of his career and racking up clean sheets right and left along the way, that’s a pretty good way to force the issue when it comes to making a name for yourself.