Mercato Ramblings….

11 Jan

I feel more strongly by the week that our only high cost target presently is Cerci, who we will grab using Immobile in part exchange, perhaps other players also, more likely $$$. This will not happen before the Summer, although it may happen before the world cup (we wouldn’t him to become too valuable before we sign him!).

We have some very bright prospects in defence…I reckon we can get at least another 2 great years out of Barzagli, even more out of Giorgio and Big Leo is barely out of nappies. Add to this the soon to be ours, Herr Kempf ( Marc-Oliver, 19, plays for Eintracht Frankfurt, German U19s)…Daniele Rugani, 19, who is doing brilliantly well at Empoli and Alberto Masi,21,(Ternana) both of whom are part of the Italy U21 set-up. We look very well set for the present and future. In between there is Caceres and Peluso for back-up.

Buffon already has an heir-apparent in Nicola Leali. Although there may be another shot-stopper between those two, if all goes according to plan.

In attack, there has been significant change this season. With Llorente and Tevez arriving and pairing up to become our first choice in the 3-5-2. Where that leaves Quagliarella, Vucinic and Giovinco, is up in the air. It wouldn’t surprise me or any of you folk to see one of them leave this transfer window, with the smart money on Mirko or Seba. We also have major stakes in Gabbiadini, Berardi, Zaza, Boakye and Immobile, so we could afford to let one of our current roster depart in view of bringing one of our youngsters into the club come June. Probably Berardi if his season as a whole proves fruitful.

Midfield and the wingback situation is more complicated. We have in Lichsteiner, a world class RB and very useful RWB. We also have Isla for the RWB role, although he could be one to move soonish, given his lack of playing time. Caceres can also play in that spot. The opposite flank is more tricky. Chiellini can be a brutal LB, but his work as a LWB often leaves much to be desired in the final third. Asamoah can and is our main LB/LWB yet Peluso can do a job in both roles. In the middle we have a great player in Marchisio more than capable of deputizing for any of Pogba/Pirlo/Vidal triumvirate. Yet maybe Claudio could leave…I doubt it. Asamoah can also perform very well indeed in the middle CM positions, mainly as a box to box midfielder, not so much a regista. In terms of our youth prospects, we are rather thin on the ground for all of these positions.

Barlocco seems a sturdy suggestion for the future at LB, but he is very young. In the central midfield roles we have Gabriel Appelt, who has been a regular fixture, for the second season running, for a Serie B squad, at Spezia this time around. And then there is Ouasim Bouy…now fit, recovered from a nasty injury and eager for games. Whereas Ouasim is primarily offensive, Gabriel is primarily defensive. Yet of the two, it is the arch-angel who fits Pirlo’s present role more suitably. On the right side, Joel Untersee recently joined a Swiss second division team, and we can only hope he gains regular playing time and does his potential justice.

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