Wednesday August 22 2012
Cassano-Pazzini – a needless swap

As Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini switch sides at San Siro, Antonio Labbate questions whether the deal was really necessary.

Saturday’s front page of the Gazzetta dello Sport summed it up perfectly. A ‘crazy idea’ they headlined when discussing a possible swap deal which would see Antonio Cassano move to Inter and Giampaolo Pazzini to Milan. Less than a week later and, with the transfers now official, it’s still verging on madness.

Cassano’s decision to hand in a transfer request is the latest own goal in a career which has never reached the heights it should have done. He obviously has his reasons for wanting to leave the Diavolo, but the club’s economic crisis which led to the high profile sales of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic offered him an opportunity to finally step up – at the age of 30 – and make the difference for a giant of the European game this term.

Boss Massimiliano Allegri may not have had Cassano at the forefront of his plans this season, but tactical decisions made in August are always subject to change. It would have been up to Cassano to prove his worth in training instead of turning his back on a club who, let us not forget, kept his Euro 2012 dream alive after his stroke last autumn.

Tactically too, Milan are probably a better home for the Bari-native when you consider what Andrea Stramaccioni has at his disposal already across the city. With Wesley Sneijder and €10.5m Rodrigo Palacio, as well as the highly promising Philippe Coutinho, is Cassano really needed on the black and blue side of San Siro?

There are similar concerns about Pazzini’s suitability for Milan. Sure, they are missing a striker after Ibrahimovic joined Paris Saint-Germain, but the Italian international is a player who primarily thrives on crosses and Milan don’t really play that way. They haven’t for some time. One also doubts whether he can co-exist alongside Alexandre Pato, a player who Allegri is clearly counting on in 2012-13.

Replacing Ibra, especially in the current economic climate, may be impossible, but Pazzini is coming off a disastrous year which saw him net just five goals in 33 top flight games last time around. It’s hardly an enticing calling card for fans who have seen a host of their legendary players leave and two of the League’s best players sacrificed.

The economic aspect of the deal is also worthy of a raised eyebrow. Milan’s decision to willingly hand over around €7m to Inter to complete the move is hugely dubious. Pazzini is two years younger than Cassano and was contracted to Inter until 2015, while Cassano’s deal expired in 2014, but the financial package negotiated seems too heavily tilted in Inter’s favour. During a summer where Milan have been punished for loose spending in the past, it’s a surprise that they agreed to such terms.

While totally unexpected before the weekend, the reality is that this transfer is unimaginative and one of convenience in these problematic thrifty times. In a nutshell, one player wanted to leave and the other was placed on the transfer list. Only time will tell whether there will be any big winners in this affair, but there is an argument that Cassano would have been better off staying with Milan and Inter would have been wiser to give Pazzini another chance in the vice-Diego Milito role. 

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Have your say...
This was actually a very sensible move for all parties. Milan definitely needed an alternative target man to the injury prone Pato (apparently he has just injured himself again!), while Pazzini was surplus to requirements at Inter. Add to that the fact that Cassano is an Inter supporter and never really established himself in the Milan first eleven.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 5:27pm
I don't think the switch was really a bad idea. Cassano is very, very skilled. But, he is old, he is not fit, and he has health problems. Pazzini is younger, more fit, and more needed (since he's a striker). If Pazzini plays like the seasons before the last one I think he can be a great buy. Besides, Cassano wanted to leave. Milan had to make something of his departure.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 5:01pm
I’m not sure if you are a Milanista or what, but your article sounds like Milanista very pissed off about a sour deal your team just made. I’m an Interista, and to be honest, I do find this swap useless and crazy, but the fact that Cassano is a better player than Pazzini (albeit he is 2 yrs older) AND Inter got cash as well…that’s gotta be one of the best deals of the season so far. Either way, neither one will do wonders on their new clubs I can assure you.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 4:54pm
@ Viktor
I specifcaly meant in attack, Boateng, noccerino n monte are midfield. So how bout that attack? Pato will spend hlf the season crocked, Robinho gos missing in the big games, El Shaarawy fair play, and pazzo is coming off the back of a shocking season. Ill stick with our(inter)forward line thanks.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 4:19pm
The only mistake in this deal is Milan's willingness to hand over that much money, on top of Pazzini. Coutinho is still young and can play in both attack and midfield. Sneijder can play behind the forwards or deeper. Palacio can play as the main striker or just off him. Cassano is ideal for Inter Milan. And Pazzini is for AC Milan, as Pato can't play every game and won't be at his best. Pazzini offers a different game. Good swap, regardless of final outcome...but the money is ridiculous.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 3:40pm
The reason Milan are in financial difficulties is because of Galliani's inept transfer policies over the years. He has wasted vast sums over the years signing players who were passed it on free transfers or in last minute desperate signings. I am glad Pazzini has finally arrived at Milan. He could have come many years ago. He gives us a different angle and now we have 4 strikers who all compliment each other which is not something we have had in a long time (thanks to Galliani).
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 3:20pm
its a great for inter. they gt rid of crap and brought in quality! pazzini is 'class A' crap! Galliani and belusconi have gone mad! this is a disastrous pre season and it WILL only get worse, 5-0 against Real lost to Juve this is only the begining people! how can a team go into the next campagne without a single play makers and a defence that is seriously below par! How much money do theywant to save? we lost half a team before ibra, cassano and silva left! this is greed plain and simple
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 3:17pm

Gargano came in the picture how? Pazzini for cassano plus 7 mill. That's the deal.
Other transfers has nothing to do with the pass+cass swap
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 3:08pm
If Milan are going to let anyone go it should be Allegri. He had a part to play YET AGAIN in one of our best players leaving the club. First Ronaldinho, then PIRLO, then Nesta and Gattuso and now Cassano.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 2:46pm
Clearly it's not so crazy for Moratti, he gains a worldclass player that even at his age still did wonders at the Euro 2012 and helped the national to the final, vs Pazzini who couldn't find his place even at the bench.
In the end it will boil down to who loves the shirt more and clearly Cassano loves INTER. Watch and see!
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 2:40pm
Pazzini was useless at Inter. Like the article said, Pazzini needs great crosses, and with the downfall of transfer bound Maicon, Inter have none. Pazzini is just not the right back up for Milito. Inter already bought Palacio, who is a much better "vice-Milito", if need be.

As we have seen last season, an injury to Sneijder makes Inter a very average side. With Cassano, that risk is mitigated.

So Inter basically got Cassano + Gargano, for Pazzini. How is that a bad deal for Inter?
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 2:07pm

"milan fans would kill for a mouth watering lineup like that? How about Pato, Pazzini, Boateng, Noccerino, El-Shaarway, Montelivo, Robinho...

on the 22nd August, 2012 at 1:53pm
Like most of players these day, Cassano came out as ungrateful. A shame.. Milan treated him well and let him grow and recover in order to play for the 2012.

Pazzini, has been having difficulities. But has huge potential.. even though he's 28. That's not a too high age for a CF.

My guess is he adept and play very well with next season. To be honest I rather see Pazzini play and score instead of having a grumpy cassano around. Pato, Boa and Pazzini could be good.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 1:36pm
Galliani and Berlusconi gone mad.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 1:06pm
Milan fans be patient! We now have a much younger squad, with wages we can AFFORD. Its a pity to see our best players leave, but its better than ending up like Rangers. Financial fair play is around the corner, and Milan don't need to worry about that now, but other clubs do. These are the steps required to start a new cycle.A young squad with low wages is the starting point. Save money for a few years, build the transfer fund back up, and then go sign quality WHEN we can afford it. Forza Milan!
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 12:59pm
Pazzini and Milito were just too similar to play together. With Milan his attacking partners aren't ideal either for his style of play but it's definitely an improvement. Pazzini has always scored a lot in his career and he will do so again for Milan if he plays enough. Did Milan pay too much for him? I don't think so. Inter paid 17m less than 2 years ago for him, so they couldn't give him away for nothing. And a dissatisfied Cassano is something you don't want in your team. Good deal for Milan.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 12:58pm
I think Antonio has got it wrong Im afraid, our transfers team have done a number on milan here, with cassano,sneijder,palacio,coutinho,alvarez the attacking options are mind-boggling! milan fans would kill for a mouth watering lineup like that. shame to see pazo go but o well, the squads looking good!
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 12:34pm
On paper they definitely got the better end of the deal. Inter can play with Cassano/Sneijder/Couthino supporting Milito in a 4-2-3-1 or with Cassano/Milito/Coutinho in a 4-2-1-3. Palacio can be the back up for Milito, Sneijder maintains his place while there will be room for Alvarez. The team was always less effective with Pazzini once the players to give him service weren't there. Now the team doesn't have to change its style if Milito is not there as Palacio is similar to Milito.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 12:32pm
Bergamasco despite my previous comment I am still not feeling confident about this season. However, the fans must get behind Allegri. He is are only hope. If the team fails it is down to Galliani and his incompetence which have left Allegri with a uncompetitive squad. Galliani has already had a go at Allegri once in pre-season. The fans must back Allegri against Galliani.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 12:15pm
just watch out for sneijder and cassano.. sneijder needed a player like him.. Inter will be creative and dont forget that Palaccio can play as CF.. he knows how to find the net.. Its a very good signing for inter.. with all due respect for Pazzo as he is a great player..Foza INTER
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 12:15pm
my milan fans is hard to suggest who we pick cos as i see pazzini during is time at inter is a player who good on air and tap in instead of one on one player and dribble opposition player it hard to compare cos i like him as a inter player(former) but he need to upgrade is game to be more clinical in time of scoring goal which what i see he lack but to say the truth i feel for pazzini alot but if milan can provide attacking formation around him as they did for Zlatan i no the guy we pick up.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 12:13pm
I think its pretty clear what the point of this deal is. Cassano wanted to leave, he is used as a 2nd striker, but El Shararwy and Robinho already cover that position, and they are both younger. There isn't enough space for 3 of them. Cassano is an Inter fan, and if he wants to play for them, this may be his last chance. Its better to let him go than have him sulk and cause problems. Pato is the centre forward, but is injury prone. Pazzini will be his back up.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 12:08pm
Galliani must go!!
Cant blame Cassano for wanting to leave a side destined for a season of obscurity.
What has Galliani been thinking this close season, this deal tops the lot. Pazzini may come good and hit a vein of form but to hand over Cassano plus 7 million is crazy!
Obviously all is not well at Milan with Mexes also poised to leave, a centreback pair of Yepes and Acerbi is frightening!
My prediction...Allegri sacked before Christmas.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 11:47am
I totally agree with this article, this transfer along with Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic are the worst 3 transfers in the clubs history.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 11:44am
A needless swap ? I don't think so, infact I approve it. I said it before & I'll say it again, Cassano is a ticking timebomb waiting to explode & I wasn't surprised at his latest outburst.

Pazzini on the otherhand was prolific but then came the horrid season of last & now he doesn't fall part of the team plans.

If there is anything both players needed, it had to be a change of scenery & it came at the right time. The way I see it, Cassano will feed Milito & Pazzini will be fed by Pato.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 11:38am
I am actually quite happy with this transfer. I wanted Milan to sign Pazzini nearly 10 years ago but it seems that we have waited until he got past his best, his confidence was low and his wage demands were higher to make the move. Hopefully he can regain his confidence. The fact that Pazzini has not reached the level he should have is probably more down to Italian football's lack of faith in young players rather than ability. Lets hope Milan actually give him a chance now!
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 11:34am
Forza inter!!!! Inter have by far come out the better here, pazzini is a good player but is more of a pin point player where as both these players will be substitutes cassano would be by far a better impact player than pazzini, inter are also trying to play different style of football which suits cassano!! Considering the world cup he had aswell inter deffinatly got the best deal!!
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 11:24am
that is the crazy deal another for fc intermilan after the sale of zlatan ibramo late celebrate for cassano up inter fans
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 11:12am
I would say that Cassano is more useful to Inter than Pazzini is. I agree there is clashes with Sneijder, Coutinho, Palacio and even Alvarez but it's much easier to rotate them around Milito than it is to accommodate Pazzini. There is no room for him at Inter, he is better seeking first team football elsewhere as at 28, he can't be considered a future talent, he is needs to be playing now.

If they invest the £7m in a younger future talent it's sensible business for both Inter & Pazzini.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 11:05am
What is going through the head of Galliani and Berlo?

Final nail in the coffin for the once mighty milan
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 10:58am

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