FLORENCE, ITALY - MARCH 27: Cassano and Pazzini were good friends last March at NT training. Are they still best buds? (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
As I am sure most of you know, this is hottest story going. If we are to believe the Italian press, a deal has been struck between Inter and Milan for a trade: we get their troubled, want-away, lost boy and 7 million euro, they get Pazzini. Ok, that may have sounded a little negative. I don't necessarily think this is a bad deal. The problem is, I am not entirely convinced this is the best thing either.
A Little Crazy or a Lot Crazy?
I think we can all agree that Cassano has had a checkered past. He burns out faster than fireworks wrapped in polyester stacked on top of gasoline soaked rags. So pretty quick. He tends to do really really really well... Until he doesn't. I guess the question we Inter fans have to ask ourselves is: are the highs (and there will be highs, dizzying, breathless, giddy highs) worth the inevitable lows (and you know they will come, as sure as the sun sets in the west)? If this happens (it isn't really official yet, remember), then I am utterly convinced that at there will be at least two occasions that Cassano will bring me to my feet and make me dance around my house as I sing his name. I am also sure that I will curse him.
On the plus side, FantAntonio
Last season, Cassano had 10 assists - the most of any Milan player - even though he only started 11 games and subbed in another 5. He may be weak in defense (or so say Who Scored), but it could be that he was never really asked to do that before (humor me). As a comparison, the league high in assists last season was Pirlo. He had the same number of goals as Cassano (3) and only 3 more assists (13), but he played 37 games. So, if we can get a half-way decent full season out of FantAntonio, there could be a little bit of magic to be found.
This is neither here nor there, but the news of this possible transfer is not going down too well over on the other side of town.
But Then There is Cassanata
So What about Pazzini?
Well, he really pulled our rear out of the fire under Leonardo. Last season, not so much - but then, the whole squad/season was not so much so it is hard to hold mediocraty against him specifically. Personnally, I have always liked the guy. I don't really understand what the whole problem was to begin with. But a problem there is. I mean, take a look at what the good people over at Who Scored have compiled from last season:
No Strengths. Ouch.
But he was good. He was. I saw it. He scored two goals in four minutes to secure a win when all hope was lost. But then he got married and, strangely, everything went to hell. So I just don't know. He is two years younger than Cassano... but then we are getting an extra 7 million that should just about cover those two years. Plus, he doesn't have a record of spectacularly melting down and taking a whole team and season with him. All I can say is that for some reason, coaches just don't like him all that much. Word is Gasperini wanted to bench him and Ranieri seemed hard-pressed to find the right place for him. Strama clearly isn't interested... so I guess it is best that he moves along. But is this swap the best deal possible for Inter? Could we make better use of him somewhere else?
But Let's Not Forget
That none of this is officially official yet. You cant believe a thing until you see a picture of the guy holding an Inter jersey with his name on the back. I will also accept his name on the official squad list on the Inter web page. Whatever the criteria, it hasn't happened yet. Even so, it is fun to speculate.
So have at it.
I know, it was a long time ago, but...