Facundo Buonanotte is taking on his first full season in England and is hoping to make the most of his tremendous opportunity.
After missing the team’s opening match against Chelsea, the Argentinean teenager received significant playing time on the journey to the United States.
After a significant cultural adjustment that involved leaving his home city club Rosario Central for a new challenge in England, Buonanotte began to find his feet last season.
One of the gems of Carlos Tevez’s Rosario Central is Facundo, who like every star in Argentinian football was rapidly noticed and sought after by European clubs. He become the first signing of Brighton in the era of manager Roberto De Zerbi.
According to journalists the initial fee was $6 million (£5.3 million), with the possibility of a further $6m/£5.3m in bonuses, which will depend on objectives being met. A 20 per cent sell-on clause for future transfers was also included.
He was born on December 23, 2004, in Perez, a municipality in Argentina’s third-most populated department of Rosario, in the province of Santa Fe, a part of Greater Rosario. Perez is only 12 kilometers from the city’s center.
Up to the end of 2021, he was a member of Rosario Central’s youth academy. Former Argentina great Kily Gonzalez, who was the head coach of Rosario at the time, summoned him up to train with the senior team earlier this year during the summer.
Alejandro Fernandez was the last coach to take charge of him in the youth setup and he joked about that in an interview in mid-August with newspaper La Capital. “Forget it — he’s not coming back to Baigorria [Rosario’s training complex] any more. He’ll be in Europe, for sure. But, for us, it’s a great emotion to see Facu playing in this way.”
He has participated in eight matches in the Copa de la Liga 2022 while wearing the auriazul jersey, two in the Copa Argentina, and thirteen in the current league season, where he scored his lone goal to date in the 1-0 victory over Sarmiento de Junin.
He’s also been called up several times for the Argentina Under-20 side, coached by Javier Mascherano. “Javier is cool; he tells me to play calmly,” Facu said.
Buonanotte is one of those players who enjoys possession of the ball. He is left-footed and incredibly skilled. Despite being a natural attacking midfielder, he can also play on the wings.
For those who don’t typically follow him, some impressive dribbling against Boca Juniors defenders at La Bombonera may have served as a decent introduction.
Still only 18, he has also earned his first senior call-up for Argentina in recent months. Buonanotte said: “I arrived (on the USA trip) with a problem in my adductor which I’m recovering from.
“But getting minutes is important to prepare myself for the league, where we have to do things as well as we did last season, “It has been crazy. At 18 years of age, to be playing in Europe, with the national team, any boy of my age would love to be in my place.
“I have to make the most of it and I thank my family and my friends who support me and to thank God. Thanks to them I am here and I am very happy.”
Buonanotte was one of several players among the 33-man squad to sit out the Summer Series opener against Chelsea.
He started the games against Brentford and Newcastle, on each occasion going off just before the hour with his side 1-0 up He said: “I’m very happy for the minutes I was able to play, to gain confidence, to gain rhythm and we keep preparing for the competition.”