Was Marco Verratti worth selling to Paris Saint-Germain?
Although losing the EURO 2012 final rather brutally to currently the world’s best nation in Spain, coach Cesare Prandelli’s Azzurri should be proud of their overall performance and accomplishment of second place. Many of the Italians contributed to the successful campaign in Ukraine and Poland. However, there is one individual in particular who has always caught the eye of professionals and spectators. The one who was awarded three ‘man of the match’ titles equalling that of Spanish magician Andres Iniesta and that is none other than midfield mastermind, Andrea Pirlo.
Pirlo, a deep-lying midfielder placed just in front of the defence, was the key to Italy’s run to the final in EURO 2012. His vision, movement, passing, and free kick-taking abilities are unmatched by any other Italian professional at the moment.
Mr. Prandelli will need to begin to observe some talented Italian youngsters who will be able to substitute, and some day replace, the 33-year old star.
At the moment, the Italians hope to have found a possible replacement in 19-year old sensation Marco Verratti. He was part of the provisional Azzurri squad made up of 30 men before Prandelli’s final cut. Verratti was owned by hometown club Pescara Calcio and guided his compatriots to their first Serie A promotion since 1993. Juventus FC, Verratti’s alleged childhood favourite team, had their eye on the boy since January and was expected to land the deal which accommodated Marco’s wishes allowing the youngster to remain with Pescara to gain Serie A experience and then transfer over to Turin the following year where he would become Pirlo’s understudy. That said, it is evident the Old Lady is already in search for a reliable substitute.
It was believed that SSC Napoli was also on his tracks. Club owner Aurelio De Laurentiis aimed to hijack any potential agreement made between the Bianconeri and Pescara.
However, Juve and Napoli were both left with their jaws dropped to the floor in surprise when the new owner of Paris Saint-Germain, Qatar Investment Authority, placed a €12 million offer on the table for a player who has not yet played in a top flight championship! Considered excessive by Italian clubs, Juve’s and Napoli’s administrators refused to enter in a bidding war they knew was a losing battle anyway. Mr. Daniele Sebastiani, Pescara patron, loved the sheiks’ offer and accepted. Verratti is now at the disposal of compatriot coach Carlo Ancelotti.
The sale of this so-called ‘next Pirlo’ beckons my mind. Why would you want to sell someone as good as Pirlo if it’s even true?
Looking back to Sunday’s PSG vs Chelsea FC friendly at Yankee Stadium, Verratti looked very impressive. He had great vision, passing, dribbling skills are fantastic as he was able to shrug off players and get out of tight places. He did not turn over the ball and he moved like Andrea as well. The one factor that is currently unknown is whether Verratti is able to take a free kick the magical way Pirlo can. Ancelotti was the one who launched Pirlo in this deep-lying role, and therefore will know when best to use the talented 19-year old who is expected to have a bright future.
The lad seems to be as good as everyone thought, hence why Juventus attempted to sign him back in the January transfer window. So why sell him? In my opinion, Pescara made a terrible decision to sign off on the playmaker as he will be needed in order to remain in Serie A, no doubt about it. In addition, considering all went well in his first year in the top flight, the club could have reaped the benefits of the sale even further by sticking a much higher price tag on him. I was originally in accordance with Italian clubs that paying €12 million for a player who has not played in a competitive match was absurd. But now, after seeing Verratti feature in last night’s game, I believe it was a good deal for PSG. I really hope Ancelotti puts his faith in him and allows this lad playing time which will certainly benefit the national team. Verratti’s talent is not to be wasted, but rather should be exploited and Carlo Ancelotti will be reaping the benefits soon, I’m sure.
I invite you to YouTube Marco Verratti and you will see what a great talent this boy is.
On a final note, it is time that Serie A clubs allow playing time to their talented youth players instead of pawning them off to another league for foreign players of the same age or who are a little more developed. Have some guts and develop the young talent you have into experienced international stars.
…that’s the last word.