As Juventus break the bank for Sergio Aguero and ignore Giuseppe Rossi, Susy Campanale is thankful for Parma's focus on Italian youth.
So much was said about Serie A clubs reacting to the recession and Italy's dismal 2010 World Cup campaign by giving young homegrown talent a chance. The limit on non-EU players has done little to change the tune of top clubs, who continue to pack their squads with foreign imports who just happen to have an Italian great-great-grandmother. Thank goodness for Parma.
The Stadio Tardini has become a haven for Azzurrini looking for regular Serie A football. Sebastian Giovinco knew he had to leave Juventus and come here to make the step up from bench-warmer to senior Italy international. It's no wonder he resisted calls to return to Turin this summer. He is now joined by young talent forced overseas by the cowardice of Serie A clubs. Graziano Pellé impressed at Lecce, Catania, Crotone and Cesena, but frustrated by the lack of decent proposals, he went to Holland for AZ Alkmaar in 2007. Bologna academy product Fabio Borini received a better offer to join Chelsea aged 16 than he ever would in Italy and, after a Swansea City spell, the Under-21 international finally returns to his homeland. The Ducali have also brought in Bayern Munich reserve Nicola Sansone, a 19-year-old who moved to Germany in his childhood and played for the Azzurri at various levels.
In the meantime, Juventus are breaking the bank for Sergio Aguero, the Atletico Madrid striker not really known for his consistency. He costs more than Giuseppe Rossi and, in my view, has less potential for growth, not to mention it's unclear how long it will take him to settle into a squad already undergoing a revolution. Is this the new Juve for the future we were promised?
It was bizarre that Rossi was ignored by Serie A sides last summer, but with his now regular status as an Italy international and a personal best campaign at Villarreal, their silence now is positively inexplicable. Here is a player who has proven himself in the Liga and in Serie A – funnily enough, for Parma – and nobody will risk €30m on him? If Javier Pastore is worth €50m (spoiler alert: he's really not), then €30m for 24-year-old Rossi is to be considered a bargain.