Italian midfielder Tommaso Bianchi was one of the first wave of Cellino imports from the Italian leagues when the controversial ‘King of Corn’ took over at Elland Road.
Bianchi arrived on a free transfer from Italian side Sassuolo, who now ply their trade in Serie A. The now 28-year-old central midfielder made 26 appearances over the season-and-a-half that he was at Elland Road, 24 of these appearances in the Sky Bet Championship.
A more naturally central midfielder, Bianchi was often deployed in a more deep-lying role, more out of need than choice. Leeds had a somewhat brittle midfield at that time, opponents often over-running the centre of the park, forcing the Whites to often adopt a siege mentality.
Bianchi’s time at Leeds was largely curtailed by injury, first a cruciate ligament injury that saw him miss the run-in to the end of the 2014/15 campaign and then a knee operation after suffering an injury in a preseason friendly ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, Bianchi going over awkwardly against Eintracht Frankfurt.
— Ascoli Picchio FC (@AscoliPicchio) May 14, 2017
After a successful loan spell with Ascoli, the second-tier Italian side took up the option to sign Bianchi, this season being his first for the club. Bianchi has featured in the majority of Ascoli’s games this campaign, making 26 appearances for the Bianconeri over the course of this season.
What is more of significance is that the former Leeds United midfielder notched his first goal (tweet – above) for the club, the strike being enough to defeat 11th placed Bari and equally guarantee Ascoli’s place in Serie B for next season.
Goals from another former Leeds United Italian, Mirco Antenucci, have also proved useful for his Serie B side. The 17 goals that Antenucci has scored over the course of this season’s Serie B campaign have meant that his side, SPAL 2013, have been promoted back to Serie A for the first time in 49 years.