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Wednesday June 1 2011
Picking at the leftovers

Hungry for a bargain? Rocco Cammisola pinpoints some of the gems available from this season's three relegated sides

A roast chicken dinner can form the basis of a very good week. Sitting at the dinner table after having devoured your feast you will be surrounded by the remains – one or two perhaps slightly soggy roast potatoes, a smattering of cold peas and carrots, maybe even a Yorkshire pudding as well. But you will certainly have the chicken's carcass still before you.

Any good cook will tell you that the carcass of the chicken can be put to use after the meal is over, perhaps producing a fine soup or juicy gravy. There are bound to be scraps of meat left on the bone that will provide adequate sustenance.

At the end of the season the thought of sifting through the wealth of experiences and emotions the campaign has provided can appear daunting and overwhelming. The carcasses of relegated sides sit temporarily on the bottom of the League table before being unceremoniously dumped in the waste bin of the Division below, but there may be a bargain available for the more prudent eye.

Bari won't want to dwell on their season too long, but they may look back and wonder what might have been if Paulo Barreto had been available for a few more games. The striker was injured early on in the campaign and subsequently failed to make more than 13 appearances, producing four goals. The Brazilian had shown glimpses of top-flight ability last season, hitting the back of the net 14 times in 31 appearances helping to push Bari to mid-table security, and at 25-years-of-age someone might consider him worthy of a punt.

Alessandro Diamanti's time in England could be described as a moderate success. Despite his slick playing style, he only produced eight goals in his first season and was moved on to Brescia at a substantial loss the following summer. He has been one of the Lombard team's brighter stars this term. Diamanti is a good dribbler who likes to cut inside and pick a pass or – more often than not – fire a shot at goal.

His shots to goals ratio isn't very good though, taking an average of 2.6 shots per game, returning just six goals this campaign. His price tag is unlikely to soar, given his age, and if Alessandro could polish his finishing he would be worth a shot for his creativity, deployed from the wing or behind the strikers.

The most valuable name dropping into the purgatory of Serie B, though, must be Sampdoria's Angelo Palombo. The box to box midfielder is the heart and soul as well as the captain of the club from Liguria. He has tremendous energy levels, allowing him to make vital contributions at both ends of the pitch.

When Sampdoria were relegated, there were moving scenes as Palombo tearfully pleaded with the fans for forgiveness. But as he approaches 30 he will be aware of the fact that Euro 2012 could be his last chance to make an impact internationally. Palombo's talents would certainly be of use to at least three quarters of the clubs in the top flight, but will he want to turn his back on the outfit of his heart?

Players from these relegated teams have the ability and experience to provide the missing link for sides who have survived to fight another campaign. Picking the juicy chunks of meat rather than a scrawny piece of sinew is where the real fun begins.

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