Tuesday July 24 2012
Is Destro worth all the fuss?

With a conclusion reportedly in sight, Scott Fleming looks back over the Mattia Destro transfer saga and asks whether the young striker is worth the hype.

It's fair to say that if Serie A fans were appointing a spokesperson, Enrico Preziosi wouldn't be the first person we turned to. But on Friday the Genoa President seemed to say exactly what we were all thinking.

“I am nauseated. Either Mattia Destro signs for Roma or he can stay at Siena. In my 22 years in football the Destro affair is the silliest thing that has ever happened to me. We are talking far too much about a lad who so far has scored only 10 Serie A goals.”

Aside from stealing two goals from the boy – Destro actually scored 12 last season, the highest tally an Italian his age has struck in Serie A since Roberto Bettega 31 years ago – Preziosi was spot on.

The Siena and Genoa owned striker has this summer starred in his very own version of The NeverEnding Story, the transfer saga to rule them all, outdoing the others both in terms of its length and sheer tedium. Euro 2012, Wimbledon, the Tour de France and the Open have come and gone, Serie A's players have returned from beach holidays with their unfeasibly beautiful lady friends and began the annual 23-0 pre-season defeats of amateur sides – and still, STILL, the Destro saga is rumbling on.

It began as soon as last season finished, his sharp shooting on loan at Siena, and the gold star pinned to his chest by Cesare Prandelli with his inclusion in Italy's 32-man provisional squad for the Euros, attracting the interest of Inter, Milan, Juventus and Roma. In those early days Inter – who signed Destro from his home town club Ascoli when he was 14 and reared him in their youth system – seemed to have the edge, Preziosi stating that the Serpenti had a “moral advantage” and that “if a team offers €10m and Inter €9m, I will give him to Inter.”

Surprisingly, Siena then exercised their option to buy a half share in the 21-year-old, Robur President Massimo Mezzaroma claiming “there was a power outage that forced us to exercise our right of redemption,” as he emerged from a local sub station holding a pair of bolt cutters.

The initiative was handed to Roma, Fabio Borini's move to Liverpool freed up space at the Olimpico, and late last week the deal was very nearly complete. But then talks broke down regarding the Azzurrini forward's wages, Destro's head reportedly turned by the larger pay packet on offer at Juventus. And it was at that point that Preziosi embarked on the aforementioned rant. So, who is Destro, and does his actual ability justify all of this fuss?

Prolific in various different age groups for Inter and Italy throughout his teens, he was inducted into the Nerazzurri's senior squad during the treble season, and though he saw no game time, clearly made an impression. “You could already see back then that he was a great attacker, complete and technically good,” recalls Diego Milito.

The following campaign, his first in Serie A, was spent with Genoa after being used as a make weight in the Andrea Ranocchia deal, but he made just five starts and scored only one goal. It was only last year at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, under the tutelage of Giuseppe Sannino and in partnership with Emanuele Calaio, that he blossomed, his skill and ability to run with the ball as eye catching as his finishing, a notable example being when he forced Simon Kjaer into conceding a penalty with a burst of pace in Siena's 1-0 victory over Roma last February.

Some other miscellaneous facts? He “can't decide” whether he prefers blondes or brunettes, is “a magician with a vacuum cleaner” and his name roughly translates as Matthew Right. Yes, like the Channel Five guy.

You'll be needing all these facts because thankfully, at long last, the end is in sight, with rumours gathering pace throughout today that the differences with Roma have been resolved and the deal finalised.

Was it all worth it? Does the saga show that big Italian clubs are finally willing to prioritise promising youths and not use them as currency? Or that they're broke and no longer able to attract talent from abroad? The answers to all these questions will become apparent with time, for now, just be thankful that it’s finally over. We hope…

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Have your say...
Maybe either way while he is at Roma Zeman will get the absolute best out of him
on the 26th July, 2012 at 3:22am
I cannot believe that someone thinks that he will become better than Roberto Baggio. In my opinion, it will be a long time, before we someone like Baggio again, probably never. Destro looks promising, I hope that he can be better than some of the average Italian strikers of late i.e Gilardino, Pazzini, Iaquinta.
on the 25th July, 2012 at 4:14pm
One point i would like to make here, I have always expressed my opinion in a respectful manner, therefore, If i am going to take the time to read and respond to your blogs, i expect to see my responses respected & posted on here. I do not wish to waste my time writing a response only for someone to choose not to publish it.
on the 25th July, 2012 at 3:58pm
Exactly Adam he will be jogged on like borini as for on the rise I can't see any team getting close to Juventus this season, as for your new stadium that gonna happen before the end of the century or after, every time I see Roma play at home looks like a vauxhall conference attendance to me mate
on the 25th July, 2012 at 11:47am
Borini out, Destro in. I can not understand the motivation Roma did both deals, as Destro has roughly the same price-tag with Borini. There is no benefit to Roma. The reason I guess may due to the personal relationship between two american owners, so roma helps liverpool to sort out their attacking problems .......
on the 25th July, 2012 at 10:16am
Yes he is worth the hpye.
He will prove to all his critics, especially the ones in here writing bullish about his abilities as striker. I see him better than R. Baggio in future.
on the 25th July, 2012 at 9:50am
Well written and informative Scott loved the “there was a power outage that forced us to exercise our right of redemption,” as he emerged from a local sub station holding a pair of bolt cutters.
on the 25th July, 2012 at 8:44am
MagicaRoma he will be your so called saviour only to be shipped on his way next year to someone else just as Borini was.
on the 25th July, 2012 at 8:32am
As for the question "Is Destro worth all the hype?" The answer is simple, "MAYBE" The fact is he is not a Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, or Ibra. but where other older & more experienced players like Pazzini, Amauri, Vucinic etc. failed to score more than a few goals, Destro didn't, now Roma got a bargain that could turn into a diamond with the right guidance. If he turns into a dud, then Roma will not have lost much either. I simply believe, this deal was worth the risks, especially in this economy.
on the 25th July, 2012 at 5:57am
With Zeman he will score 9000 goals next season but Roma will see their club fighting to get into Europa League. He chose a club and a coach that will help him become cappocaniero, instead of choosing a club that will help him with trophies. If Verratti is worth 14m, then Roma got a bargain.
on the 24th July, 2012 at 9:41pm
on the 24th July, 2012 at 9:30pm
@paul. What team in Italy can fill a 70,000 out of date, hard to get to stadium out? When Roma build a new stadium we will get 60+ thousand. This is Rome, not miserable dark Turin. Roma are a team on the rise.
on the 24th July, 2012 at 9:22pm
@paul: we dont get a full crowd??? What have you been smoking? How many people visited juves cl game vs bayern munich again? 8000????

Juve have a great history, but a passionate fanbase they have not. torino is bigger in turin than juve, juve has relatively more fans abroad and in south italy than in their own city..... roma on the other hand (or napoli eg): the club represents the city and its inhabitabants.
on the 24th July, 2012 at 8:52pm
lol hes at roma because they are the only ones who want him if juventus wanted him he would be atjuventus simple as for all that rubbish hes at roma because of the passion honesty etc you dont even get a full crowd, hes only there because roma wanted him and no one else did because he aint up to much ,
on the 24th July, 2012 at 7:53pm
Talented young italian players is like gold in Serie A and because they in demand, their agents and clubs try to milk as much as possible, Verratti case in point.

Destro is a similar story, he or his agent was waiting for a big club to make a mega offer for him.

Was it worth the wait ? No...
on the 24th July, 2012 at 6:48pm
most seeked for Italian on the current market So this is to be considered a HUGE victory!

He is cheaper AND more allround(far better prospect) than Borini.

this is a victory over the North… this is Zemanlandia: you can throw money around, play sneaky games and play CL but we offer something too long lost but FAR MORE important: pleasure, passion, honesty and entertainment!

some dont realise how IMMENSE this is for Roma: not only on, but also for our modesty philosephy OFF the pitch.
on the 24th July, 2012 at 6:36pm
It is a shame to see him go to another team, knowing he was originally almost a nerazurro when this hold saga started. The Siena sabotage move will be remembered. At least he did not go to the bianconeri.
on the 24th July, 2012 at 6:27pm
lol @ arjen you jelly of juventus.juventus are linked with everyone and he aint worth it anyway ,you must be a inter fan
on the 24th July, 2012 at 6:08pm
on the 24th July, 2012 at 6:03pm
on the 24th July, 2012 at 5:48pm
Time will tell... IF he chooses Roma, he has THE coach for young players and will get playing time so we will find out sooner if he was worth it than with Juve where he could warm the bench.

that aside: Roma went FIRST to the clubs (siena and genoa) and THEN to the player, Juve went straight to the player without negotiating with the clubs first.

Not really the correct way: a fox can loose his hair but never its tricks it seems once again when it involves Juve, shameless......
on the 24th July, 2012 at 4:59pm
Can he create goals of just finish them?
on the 24th July, 2012 at 4:55pm
on the 24th July, 2012 at 4:52pm
This is my shortest comment ever in football-italia

on the 24th July, 2012 at 4:37pm

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