OVER the last few months, it would seem the tabloids would have you believe that Luis Suarez is destined to join another club in the summer, and that he’s more than likely going to one playing Champions League football next season.
Regardless of the players reiteration that he wants to stay and the fact that he just signed a contract extension, the papers have already decided that he is leaving Liverpool.
Now I know that the majority of tabloid reports hold about as much credibility as Chris Huhne’s testimony, however, having given the Suarez issue some serious thought over a few Stella’s in the pub I can’t help but wonder…
What would happen if he DOES leave, and who would be a credible replacement?
One name I have heard being talked about an alarming number of times in recent weeks is Antonio Cassano. I must say, I’m in the rather fortunate position of living with a couple of Inter Milan fans, and they do have a unique perspective when it comes to Cassano.
When asked about Inter forward and his overall ability I am usually met with groans, hoots of laughter and comparisons with a blind woodsman, hacking away at the ball. After thinking this may have been a bit harsh on the former Real Madrid man, I did a bit of digging and having watched Cassano play a few times now, I’m starting to see where the jovial Inter fans were coming from – Cassano has been nothing short of shocking at Inter Milan!
In fact, Cassano has been shocking at just about every club he has played at, not just in terms of goal return but also in terms of behaviour and his tenures at Roma, Real Madrid and Sampdoria were dogged with reports of bust ups and fall outs with senior management, culminating in a locker room brawl with current Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni.
In my eyes, it would certainly be a rather odd decision to replace the lightning quick, prolific Suarez with the slower, barren Cassano, however, I can see some value in it and before you all think I’ve taken leave of my senses, allow me to explain.
Firstly, there’s the monetary issue. Liverpool would be looking for in excess of £40 million for Suarez and Cassano would be available for about £5 million giving us a balance of £35 million left to spend as we see fit on a centre-back and a £25 million forward! The figures add up and as we all know, FSG are all about figures.
Secondly there’s what Cassano would bring to the team. In amongst all the misfiring and the tantrums, ticking away in the tempestuous cranium of the little Italian there’s a wonderful footballing brain waiting to get out! I’ve watched Cassano for Inter this year and he’s capable of some of the most intelligent forward play I’ve seen in a while.
His passing, vision and awareness are all top notch as is his ability to start attacks so provided he isn’t bought in to score goals I can see Cassano being another option for us as a floating attacking midfielder sitting just behind the front men providing intelligent link up play.
What are your thoughts?