Serie A 2022/23: Player of the Week – Matchday 24

Spezia are having a difficult season but M'Bala Nzola has got a very healthy goal return. His exploits against Udinese on Matchday 24 make him our Serie A Player of the Week.

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Spezia failed to clinch three points away to Udinese on Matchday 24 of the 2022/23 Serie A campaign, but the performance of M’Bala Nzola in northern Italy secured a vital point and the Player of the Week crown.

The 26-year-old struck twice for the Aquilotti during a 2-2 draw at the Stadio Friuli on Sunday evening, which kept the relegation-threatened club in 17th place and three points ahead of Hellas Verona.

N’Zola at the double

Since making his top-flight debut in October 2020, the Angola international has scored braces six times, including four away from Spezia, and showed great composure when presented with his first opportunity just six minutes into the game. When he breezed past goalkeeper Marco Silvestri and rolled the ball into an empty net, it was the ninth time the Zebrette had conceded in the first 25 minutes – more than any other team this season.

However, the hosts thought back, and through goals from Beto and Roberto Pereyra led going into the closing stages and Spezia’s 100th Serie A game looked like ending in defeat. On 72 minutes, though, Eldor Shomurodov drove through the middle of the Udinese team and slipped the ball through to Nzola to equalise.

Future away from Spezia

A low drilled shot into the bottom corner was another example of the clinical finishing Nzola has displayed on the peninsula and has been crucial to Spezia keeping themselves out of the bottom three, with six goals and one assist in his last six Serie A appearances.

Should the Aquilotti eventually fall into Serie B or not, the striker’s future could yet lay away from Liguria. Earlier in the season it was rumoured that Premier League club Crystal Palace were interested in taking the Angolan to England, whereas several Italian clubs would like to keep him in Serie A.

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