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Friday November 16 2012
Palacio gamble paying off for Inter

Inter’s acquisition of Rodrigo Palacio had doubters, but Adam Scime writes he is en route to proving the cynics wrong and his price tag right.

When Inter signed Rodrigo Palacio this past summer, the move was surrounded by plenty of scepticism – including from yours truly.

Many posed the question as to why a team that had recently ended a season in sixth place with an unusually high number of veterans, would outlay significant expenditure on a 30-year-old that had never truly proven himself at the top level. He was a player of undoubted ingenuity, as his highlight-reel strikes over the past few years attest, but could he deliver week in and week out at the Giuseppe Meazza?

Surely there were younger options with more potential? Palacio seemed like an unnecessary purchase for a team that should be aiming to rejuvenate.

Although the fee was left undisclosed by the two clubs, reports indicated Inter paid €11m for the former Boca Juniors star who had come off a 19-goal campaign over 32 appearances in 2011-12. Prior to that, Palacio’s time in Serie A had hardly been a model of consistency, having merely notched 16 goals in 58 games for the Rossoblu since his arrival in 2009.

However, it is President Massimo Moratti and the 2010 European champions who are basking in the positive glow of the transfer at the moment, as the move has tipped the scale more towards reward rather than risk for the Nerazzurri.

Initially, an injury prevented Palacio from receiving playing time – as he fell behind Diego Milito, Antonio Cassano and even youngster Philippe Coutinho in Coach Andrea Stramaccioni’s pecking order. But since his return he has been in irrepressible form with seven goals and two assists in his last seven matches in all competitions, notably including two game-winners in the Europa League against Partizan Belgrade and a late strike to seal the deal in the exhilarating 3-1 victory over Derby d’Italia rivals Juventus.

In terms of the team’s budget, within the rules of Financial Fair Play, the transfer fee is divided along the length of the contract, so in the case of Palacio a tidy €3.67m per year over three years. It’s high salaries that affect European clubs' FFP standing to a greater extent, which is why the earnings of players like Lucio, Maicon, Julio Cesar and Diego Forlan were logically jettisoned out the door.

Palacio’s ability to play anywhere across the front line has proven invaluable for Stramaccioni this season. He has combined well with Cassano, Milito and everyone else and his eye for goal seems to have been honed to devastating effect. His recent exploits have even earned him a recall to the Argentina national side with Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain sidelined.

The striker who spent his days in the Bella Vista youth team may be 30, he may have a haircut that not everyone is fond of, but the numbers thus far suggest that he may end up being a bargain and worth every penny for Inter this season.

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Have your say...
He is already a proven striker in Serie-A..so i dont think why he should be underestimated
on the 18th November, 2012 at 8:52pm
Palacio has already experience in playing in Serie-A..so i dont think he would be having any difficulties in swtiching clubs domestically..as for the past decade argentines have always done well in this league..
on the 18th November, 2012 at 8:49pm
Yes Palacio is playing very well and i'm glad we signed him , i remember hearing Sports Journalist's like Gabrielle Marcotti rubbish Inter for signing him , who's laughing now ? Forza Inter !
on the 18th November, 2012 at 1:12am
Palacio reminds me of "2010 Milito". He gets a chance, and you know that he'll score. No doubts.
on the 18th November, 2012 at 12:22am
Inter was sorely missing a player like Palacio last season. He should have been the player to get rather than Forlan. Palacio is a very underrated player, and I'm glad he has gotten called back to the NT.
on the 16th November, 2012 at 8:14pm
I think age is taken into account to seriously sometimes! I mean is he a gamble 30 isnt that old, Diamanti is 29 and just got good, Luca Toni was 28/29 when he was at Bayern, some players peek later i their careers. Di Natalie fine example of this.
on the 16th November, 2012 at 2:39pm
I was never in doubt for Palacio when Inter decided to buy him. Most people complained about his age, but I always said that he was fitter than a 25 year old. Regardless of age, he is very quick and technically sound. By the logic of age Inter should have got rid of Zanetti 9 years ago.
on the 16th November, 2012 at 2:39pm
Absolute gun and will definitely score 20+ goals this season!
on the 16th November, 2012 at 2:22pm

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