When Leeds United fans hear the words ‘Giuseppe Bellusci’ there are two usual reactions: a.) a slight shudder that gradually increases and b.) a brief look behind them for the nearest exit. Such were his many defensive faults, a sigh of relief could be heard at he was loaned to Serie A side Empoli.
Bellusci missed the first Serie A game for Empoli, sitting on the bench as an unused sub against Sampdoria before putting on something of a show last time out in a 2-0 loss to Udinese, a game where Empoli finished with 10 men. Tonight, against Crotone, Bellusci has gone and topped even that, scoring his début Serie A goal with a towering header (tweet – below).
— Empoli Fc Official (@EmpoliCalcio) September 12, 2016
Giuseppe Bellusci had cut a divisive figure at Elland Road since his arrival from Catania on loan, which Leeds turned into a permanent deal. Alongside some competent defending, where he looked easily one of Leeds’ most proficient defenders, there were troughs.
The troughs he experienced whilst playing for Leeds seemed to easily outweigh the positives that he was capable of displaying. Abject implosion against Middlesbrough at the Riverside more than easily smearing the memories of that glorious free-kick in a 3-1 away win against Bournemouth.
Increasingly not part of Garry Monk’s plans going forward for this Sky Bet Championship season, the Warrior has returned to fight on home shores as Bellusci has taken up a contract with Empoli, joining them on a season-long loan. The move back to Serie A came as likely the best result for both Bellusci and Leeds, and it came with a purchase option at the end of the season.
Should Giuseppe Bellusci keep on putting on displays like last time out against Udinese, and scoring goals like he has done tonight against Crotone, that purchase option might just have something in it.
That’s as long as he suffers no further defensive implosions.