A Squad in Serie C – Part III

Time to look at the area of the team that is least in number but arguably the most instrumental to Palermo’s success.

As a reminder, in Part I, we covered the organizational structure, the coach and the goalkeepers. In Part II, we focused on the Rosanero defense. Now, let’s see who makes up the Palermo midfield. As a group, there are only five “official” midfielders on the roster. Despite that official tally, we have seen some versatility from both defenders and attackers who have played in midfield roles throughout the season.




Every single midfielder has had plenty of run this season. That makes obvious sense given the number of them, but it also shows that each one plays a significant role at Palermo.

  • Moses Odjer – he joined the club on a free transfer in the summer window of 2020 after splitting time in the 2019 Serie B season between Salernitana and Trapani. The 25 year old Ghanian is a mediano (holding midfielder) by trade and has been used extensively in the last two seasons with the Rosanero. Under Giacomo Filippi, Odjer was more of a starter than a reserve. Now, with Silvio Bandini on the bench, Odjer has been used as a sub. He knows his role – win the ball, pass it to the playmakers and support the defense. He’s not a threat to ever score – in 113 appearances with Salernitana, he had only two goals and six assists. Not the tallest guy (1.73m / 5’6) and most assuredly not the most technically gifted, he is not held back by his limitations and will battle every time he’s called upon.
  • Francesco De Rose – the 34 year old is the linchpin of the Palermo midfield. He joined the club from Reggina in the winter transfer window last season and has been irreplaceable in the starting lineup over the past season and a half. He is the primary choice as captain this season and is also a vocal leader both on and off the pitch. While on the pitch, he is an engine. The man is tireless and relentless. He is second most on the team (outside of the keeper position) in minutes played, trailing only Matteo Brunori by a mere seven minutes. Typically, De Rose is the indicator for how Palermo will fare in any given match – if he’s playing well, it means the club is doing well. If not, then the Rosanero are most likely in trouble. Ciccio is naturally found in the middle of the midfield, most often as a CM but is more than capable as a mediano (holding midfielder). He has notched four assists this term.
  • Samuele Damiani – he’s the youngest midfielder on the roster at 24 years old, joining this past winter window on loan from Serie A side Empoli. Palermo only have him for the rest of the season before he’ll return, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t used him. As soon as he arrived, he immediately featured. After a substituted appearance in his first match, he started his second against Monterosi. It was in his first official start that he also scored his first goal for the club – a lovely little touch and shot that gave Palermo the lead (they would end up winning 2-0). Similar to De Rose, he is either a mediano or a CM. Baldini has also preferred to play the pair alongside one another as two holding midfielders. It is readily apparent that the kid has quality galore and his addition has eased the burden on the midfield. In his first nine matches with the club, he’s started seven of them. Expect to see him relied on heavily for the remainder of the season.
  • Jacopo Dall’Oglio – the 29 year old joined Palermo this offseason on a free transfer from rivals Catania. He was a staple in their midfield last season with five goals and five assists in 25 appearances. Unfortunately, Dall’Oglio has been unable to replicate that success with Palermo this season. Under Filippi, Dall’Oglio was a starter playing primarily as a CM but also made several appearances as a trequartista (attacking midfielder). Like a lot of the players under Filippi, he ran hot – picking up 8 yellow cards in 19 appearances. Under Baldini, the yellow cards have gone away, but so have the opportunities: only one start and three more substitute showings in nine games. Nevertheless, Dall’Oglio is a good player for this level. While he hasn’t scored, he has provided three assists on the season. Baldini has also been using him a lot more lately as he’s featured as a substitute in the last three matches with increasing minutes game over game (4′, 30′ & 45′).


  • Gregorio Luperini – similar to Odjer, he arrived at Palermo prior to the 2020-21 season from Trapani on a free transfer. The 6’1 (1.86m) right-footed midfielder started nearly ever match that season and showed he had a knack for goal with 5 scored last term. He has kept that starting spot this season in a variety of roles for the club – as a central midfielder, a trequartista and a mediano even. His role has been affected by the coach in charge as Filippi chose to play him further away from goal (mainly as a CM). This choice saw the goals dry up for Gregorio as he was not able to find the back of the net under the former coach. Baldini’s arrival gave Luperini a boost – he was pushed closer to goal, used as a trequartista. As a result, that move paid off as Luperini scored his first goal of the season three matches ago in the 5-0 rout against Turris. He’s a gifted player and can give Palermo a key advantage in the midfield when he’s playing at a top level. Outside of De Rose, Luperini is the second most important part of the Rosanero midfield and will be key down the stretch.


Catch up on Part I – Organization, Coach and Goalkeepers here.
Catch up on Part II – Defenders here.


To be continued…