Archive for the ‘Florent Malouda’ Category

Eduardo Salvio: The Next Big Thing?

January 27, 2009

While Arsenal courts Zenith for Andrei Arshavin, Real Madrid begs and pleads for Cristiano Ronaldo, and other clubs are going after the hottest players in the game, there is still a wave of scary talent coming forward from the youth ranks. One in particular is 18 year-old Argentine wunderkind Eduardo Salvio who has already scored 4 goals in 14 appearances for Lanús, including putting two past Boca Juniors. He is also working his way up through Argentina’s highly competitive youth system, recently shining in the South American U-20 championship. Just three days ago, he led his Argentine team to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Peru, scoring the winning goal.

“I can play anywhere, inside or outside, but it does not frighten me to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper,” said a confident Salvio to Gazzetto. “My mirror player plays in another position, and he is Juan Román Riquelme.”

Salvio is a combination of fast, clever, and very technical and with his diminutive 5’5” frame, nothing but trouble for defenders once he has the ball at his feet. He is already being hailed as the next Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi (who are both mentioned as the next Maradona) in the great tradition of Argentine supporting strikers such as Carlos Tevez, Messi, Javier Saviola, and others.

Now, teams like Roma, AC Milan, Inter, Napoli, Fiorentina, Juventus, CSKA Moscow, Genoa, Sevilla, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Villarreal and Atlético Madrid are hot on his trail.

So, it is no surprise that in today’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, we see that Juve’s management are making their move by sending chief scout Renzo Castagnini to Argentina to work out a deal before another club gets there first. They’ll be hard pressed to trump Napoli, which has always been a second home for Argentine players on the continent, including Maradona, Lavezzi, German Denis, and others. That said, Juve’s deeper pockets would probably carry the day.

According to Gazzetto, to seal the deal Juventus is ready to ante up with at least €8.5 million and plans to finance it through the sale of forward Vincenzo Iaquinta to an interested Russian club Zenit St Petersburg (which also indicates they are resigned to losing Arshavin).

But any deal may not happen until summer since Lanús president Alejandro Marón, has a stated policy that the club’s youth players must play a full season before any transfers are allowed.

Meanwhile, Juventus has reportedly approached Chelsea to discuss a loan deal for French winger Florent Malouda. Malouda has not fared well since the arrival of Chelsea boss Felipe Scolari but his old Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri, now at Juventus, thinks he can help the team challenge Inter for the Scuddetto.

Totti Hints At Azzurri Return

July 20, 2008

AS Roma captain Francesco Totto has hinted he may come out of retirement to help the Italian national team in World Cup qualifying. The 31-year old who was a member of the 2006 World Cup winning team had retired from international play due to the effects of grueling league, European, Coppa Italia, and international schedules. Now, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport:

“If I’m well and I don’t have problems, it will be possible to address this issue in six months or a year.” The main reason Totti appears ready to return is due to the return of Marcello Lippi, with whom he got along well in 2006.

At the same time Totti has ambitions for Roma, second place finishers in Serie A the past two years, to make a more concerted run at the Scudetto this season. To do so, he figured they need to make two more key signings. Roma had been hoping to bring Julio Baptista to Stadio Olimpico on a loan but Real Madrid did not agree to terms. Roma is in desperate need of a quality winger following the departure of Amantino Mancini for Inter. Without a dangerous winger, their 4-2-3-1 system is not potent enough to stay near the top of the Italian game, let alone win it all. The Giallorossi have their eye on several options at winger. One is Fiorientina’s Mario Alberto Santana but the Viola appear to be counting on him to fulfill their own Champion’s League aspirations this year.

Another is Chelsea’s Florent Malouda who was a star for France and Lyon but has had trouble carving out his own role at Stamford Bridge. The English side may be willing to loan or sell him but there is a catch, another big club is also interested; Barcelona. If it comes to a bidding war, the deep-pocketed Catalans will have the edge over the Romans.

Finally, some Roman newspapers and radio commentators indicate that the most realistic option may be Atletico Madrid’s Jose Antonio Reyes. The vagabond Reyes, after bouncing to a new club almost every year looking for more playing time, seems to be the odd man out at Atletico. Thus, a move into a starting role at Roma may be just what he, and the Giallorossi, needs.