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Saturday October 27 2012
Downsizing Destro

A lacklustre start for Mattia Destro at Roma has seen the critics come out in force, but as Dylan Fahy writes, the Italian media should take a backseat for the player’s own good.   

Chased by Juventus, Inter and Milan before ultimately ending up at Roma in late July, Mattia Destro proved to be Serie A’s transfer saga of the summer. The 21-year-old featured in the peninsula’s papers on daily basis and on every occasion it was a different club seeking his signature. “He simply isn’t worth all this hassle,” insisted Genoa President Enrico Preziosi, before the striker eventually penned a deal with the Giallorossi

The former Inter academy scarlet staked his claim during a spell with then newly promoted Siena last term. Under the guidance of Giuseppe Sannino the striker netted 12 times as the club finished comfortably in midtable. Touted as Italy’s next striking sensation, Serie A’s hierarchy surrounded the Grifoni like vultures when they bought out his co-ownership deal with the Tuscans in June.

“In my 22 years in football, this is the silliest affair I have come across,” concluded Preziosi, “We are talking far too much about a lad that still has to prove himself.” The controversial Italian businessman was dismissed out of hand by several quarters at the time, but an underwhelming start to life in the capital for the striker has only gone to prove his point.

Destro is yet to ripple the net for Zdenek Zeman’s side and, despite arriving with the promise of being the main man upfront in the eccentric Czech’s 4-3-3 system, Pablo Daniel Osvaldo has overshadowed him to date.  Five lacklustre appearances culminated in a muscular injury that initially ruled him out against his former club Genoa, before revealing he would be sidelined for up to three weeks.

The Italian media have not rested on reporting on the Italian international’s future, and this week claimed Fabio Quagliarella will move to Rome in a potential swap move to be concluded in January with the current Italian champions. The striker’s agent was quick to deny any such deal would be made, proving that the intense speculation surrounding him does still strike a chord at times.

“Roma would be handing Juventus the future striker of Italian football if they make the swap,” asserted former Siena sporting director Giorgio Perinetti. “They should keep a tight grip on him.” Destro has the qualities to become the future of Italy’s frontline, as Cesare Prandelli has consistently proved by selecting him despite his poor showings at club level.

The hype surrounding Destro from the onset should have been dramatically toned down, and if it persists at this rate it could potentially diminish what is set to be a long and fine career. For the benefit of the player, perhaps the Italian media should take a step back and allow him to develop without outside pressures. 

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Have your say...
The kid is pure talent, his time will shine. Lol at the papers linking him to a move to Juve...Now Roma have made some very dumb sales in the past but they bought a big talent a few months ago and you honestly believe they would sell him to that shower for a player on the way down....He played quite good in 1 or 2 games without scoring but he does need a goal quickly....even if its just a pen, let him hot it if he's on the pitch...Also there is no shame in being behind Osvaldo, who is a beast
on the 29th October, 2012 at 10:32pm
Don't count out Destro yet, the season still has a long way to go, I'm sure he will adjust eventually and come around after he is back from his injury.
on the 29th October, 2012 at 1:46pm
Yip, I agree with this article. Too many times have players been groomed as the next Baggio, Baresi or Maldini etc. And a few seasons go by and nothing spectacular happens to these young lads. They fall away into obscurity, the media is to blame as they put on so much pressure for these players.
The managers are also lose faith them and get loaned out to numerous clubs, they dont find stability.
So patience is needed, if the player has the potential and proper surroundings he will develop.
on the 29th October, 2012 at 12:17pm
i hope not seeing another copy of marco borrilello who was average player and the only good season was at ganoa when he scored 22 goals at 27 or 28 of his age ,, honestly i prefer to watch inter's longo at espanyol , he is a pure talent
on the 29th October, 2012 at 5:31am
Someone calling him another Pazzini is clearly an idiot...which means more than likely a Rubentino.
on the 28th October, 2012 at 11:04pm
Honest, he is nothing like Pazzini! Destro is far more complete player, has better skill, technique, and works harder for the team.

Pazzini just doesn't do enough. If he isn't scoring-which is becoming a rare occurrence-then you don't see him, because he contributes so little.
on the 28th October, 2012 at 10:54am
The Italian press have to realise that Destro is playing out of position. He hasn't got the right characteristics to play as a right-winger. He should be a centre-forward and nothing else.

Zeman is one of the few coaches who can nurture young talent but he won't get much out of Destro if he plays wide. Destro and Osvaldo are best suited in an attacking duo, which Zeman would never implement. Zeman loves his 4-3-3 so he must choose between Destro or Osvaldo, not play both.
on the 28th October, 2012 at 8:00am
A bit like Demba Ba at Newcastle I feel. Whenever he was shunted out wide in Pardew's front three he was lacklustre and his rich vein of form in front of goal vanished. As soon as Pardew stuck him back at CF, the free flow of goals picked up again.

Let's just wait until he plays a few games in a central position before judging him at all...
on the 28th October, 2012 at 3:15am
Another Pazzini
on the 27th October, 2012 at 9:47pm
Let the the media bitch and moan, because they desperately need the attention and they need to sell papers and stories. They seeking juicy stories. But...this isn't a story. Destro is quality. 21 years old, let him be, let destro develop. Not now, but he will prove worthy and prove his critics wrong. Time will prove that destro to be a top quality Italian forward. The problem is the lack of patience. Just let him grow and develop in peace. Then we will all see. Now not the time!
on the 27th October, 2012 at 7:25pm
He may have not scored yet, but he hasn't played that badly. In his defence, Zeman has, more often than not, fielded him out wide-not Destro's favoured position!

I have seen enough of Destro to realize that Roma have a gem of a player. All that's needed is a little patience!
on the 27th October, 2012 at 7:03pm

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