Every rising footballer goes through a stage where one wrong transfer could see his career propel downwards, into an inescapable void. Some players decide to remain at a certain club and go onto become legends, while others go club hopping with the hope of achieving greatness. The key to a player’s success, most often, lies in this career defining decision. The Serie A is currently home to some immensely talented strikers, all of whom are at this vulnerable age. Amongst this blessed lot is Siena’s Mattia Destro.
The former U-21 international started his career at Ascoli’s youth club and then moved onto the highly reputed youth system at Internazionale. The 2009-10 season proved to be Destro’s breakthrough season, as he scored a remarkable 18 goals in the Campionato Nazionale Primavera.
Surprisingly, Inter decided to involve him in a part exchange deal for Genoa’s Andrea Ranocchia. Destro remained a backup option under then coach Gian Piero Gasperini. He did score on debut during Gasperini’s reign, but managed a meager four appearances in three months. Gasperini was replaced by Alberto Malesani in November of 2010, but Destro’s inexperience saw him remain a fringe player.
The following summer, Siena made an offer to loan (with an option to co-own) Destro and it was readily accepted by Genoa. It was with the Robur that Destro began to shine, scoring a total of 13 goals in the season. His most memorable moments over the course of the season were braces against Lazio and Chievo, a goal against his former club Genoa and the winner against Udinese. Along with Emanuele Calaiò, Destro formed one of the most under rated yet lethal strike forces in the Serie A. The duo scored 24 goals between themselves and was most instrumental in keeping Siena adrift of the relegation zone.
With the 2012-13 season right around the corner, four of Italy’s top clubs are vying to sign Mattia Destro in their bid to strengthen their sides for the upcoming campaign. At the moment Destro’s co-ownership between Siena and Genoa is proving to be a major hassle for the big four, but given his quality and their ability to pay, a move seems imminent. Here is a look at which of these four clubs could possibly be home to this gem for the next season.
A Return To Inter For Destro?
It was with the Nerazzurri that Destro began his football journey, and a return to the club seems a very viable option. Although Destro’s time at Inter never overlapped with that of Stramaccioni’s, some commonality between the two could possibly exist. Another factor working in favor of this move is Inter’s current lack of clinical strikers. Other than Diego Milito, Stramaccioni is cut for choice in the attacking department. The arrival of Destro will be a huge boost for the club, but will such a young and unproven striker be able to deal with the pressures of such a big club?
THT Verdict: A return to his first real club would be somewhat magical for both parties, but Destro still doesn’t seem ready for such a big jump. Yet with Giampaolo Pazzini having stated that his future lies elsewhere, Destro would surely be an integral part of Stramaccioni’s attack. Destro could well be returning to the San Siro.
Zeman And The New Roma
The Luis Enrique project failed at the capital club last season, and the well renowned Zdenek Zeman has been brought in to get Roma back on track. Under Enrique, a number of young attackers were brought in to fit the Barcaesque system, but couldn’t quite click. Whether Zeman intends on using all of these players remains unknown, leaving a move for Destro open.
THT Verdict: Roma currently have five strikers, all of whom don’t seem to be leaving the club anytime soon. With this nimiety of attack minded players it seems impossible that Destro would see much time on the field, thus making this move somewhat wasteful. Destro to Roma seems most unlikely.
The Champions Are Calling
Juventus just finished a highly memorable campaign, finishing the league unbeaten. Success may have been achieved, but the lack of a lethal striker at Antonio Conte’s disposal was a worrying factor. Players like Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarela will surely start behind Destro in the pecking order for a starting position, while Sebastian Giovinco and Mirko Vučinić will most probably be preferred over Destro. Another question surrounding Destro’s move to Turin is Juventus’ willingness to buy another unproven and inexperienced striker.
THT Verdict: Playing time may not be as high as what Destro could achieve at Inter, but a better system is at work under Antonio Conte. For the growth of Destro, a move to Juventus seems perfect, but Destro’s ambition might require a more important role. This surely isn’t a move that can be ruled out, but seems a lot less likely than that to Inter.
Allegri’s Age Reduction Process
With Max Allegri having failed to win the title at Milan last season, the mass exodus of senior players and younger players being brought in, it is fairly clear that there is a massive makeover going on at the club. Younger players are wanted in numbers to help in recreating the successful Milan of old. Like at Juventus, a good number of strikers would be preferred over Destro and another injury plagued season is probably the only hope for Destro to get a fair amount of playing time.
THT Verdict: Even statements made by Destro’s father to the press have indicated that a move to Milan isn’t going to happen. The player himself would see this as the least likely option, but knowing Adriano Galliani and his cunning transfer activities, a move to Milan cannot be written off. At the moment, Milan and Destro seem far apart and only a touch of Uncle Fester’s magic can help in bringing this gem to the red and black half of Milan.
Another Season At Siena
Siena have managed to keep their place in Italy’s top flight and will be keen on pushing for a mid table spot in the coming season. With Calaio and Bogdani on the wrong side of 30, Serse Cosmi will be most reliant on Destro to head Siena’s attack. After his showing this season, it seems possible that he can play a part in at least helping the Robur stay another season in the top flight.
THT Verdict: Money often plays a major role in such circumstances and Siena are far behind the above mentioned clubs in that respect. Another season at a club of Siena’s stature would be ideal for Destro’s blossoming, but money could attract him to one of the bigger clubs. His current co-ownership will prove a problem for the interested clubs and could be influential in keeping him at Siena. Another season of football at the Artemio Franchi seems the best bet for now.