Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Where is Antonio Cassano going to end up? Serie Aaaaargh! will tell you. If he doesn't leave Sampdoria this summer, Cassano will find himself:
1. Filed away in a great big box marked ‘wasted talent’
2. Not in the Italy squad – not as long as Marcello Lippi is in charge, that is.
But all that could change if the Bari Bawler secures a move to Juventus.
The Old Lady has finally come out and admitted she quite fancies the wild boy of Italian football and his match-of-the-man performance against the Turin side at the weekend suggests he would provide that joie de vivre she’s sorely lacking at the moment.
Dancing round tackles and picking out passes that his less-adroit team-mates failed to read, he was a man doing his best to keep his head above Sampdoria's sea of mediocrity.
Cass makes his mark
He'll be 27 in July, and even in youth-obsessed Italy that is considered the cusp of adulthood. To his credit, apart from the ill-advised autobiography, the pepperoni-faced one has kept his nose clean of late.
In truth, the last piece of true star quality to pass through the Juventus doors was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while that little problem of a few years ago – the one no one talks about anymore – meant that Turin was off limits for top names until the dust died down.
But hey, that’s all in the past now. And just think of the antics we'd witness if Cassano coupled up with Alex Del Piero.
As long as it didn’t descend into Whatever Happened to Baby Jane – the former child star terrorised by the fading superstar – then it might just prolong Alex’s career at the top if he can become slightly more supplicant.
Old Ale is definitely becoming slightly self-deluded if he thinks that he can still drop deep, gather the ball and take on the opposition on a mazy run.
If only he could get over himself for 10 seconds and accept that his best position is alongside Amauri in attack, then Cassano’s arrival would probably be that much more straightforward.
And what of Sebastian Giovinco, the heir-apparent to Del Piero? Well, he’s definitely a will-o’-the-wisp but it looks as if his tiny feet are much more suited to the left flank. He seems a ready-made replacement for Pavel Nedved.
"Lemme at 'im!" "Leave it, Al, he's not worf it"
The names of David Villa and Franck Ribery have been banded around as possible summer arrivals, but really the prodigal son of Italian football should be truly welcomed home.
With Cassano, Del Piero and Giovinco fluttering around the pitch, just think how much more alluring the Old Lady would be.
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