As the January transfer window rapidly approaches, Manchester United and Arsenal have begun to take stock of needed reinforcements, and have been captivated by the idea of bringing Torino’s Alessio Cerci to England.
The Granata winger has hit eight goals already through 12 games in Serie A this season, sitting in second place on the scoring charts behind the resurgent Giuseppe Rossi of Fiorentina. Having finally found his stride under boss Giampiero Ventura in Turin last season after years of unfulfilled potential, the 26 year old has at last broken into Italy tactician Cesare Prandelli’s squad on a consistent basis, and as a result hasn’t found himself short of admirers around Europe in recent times.
Over in the Premier League, Arsenal sits atop the table after an unexpectedly sound start, despite having fallen to David Moyes’ United last weekend, yet remains keen on adding offensive firepower to provide cover for striker Olivier Giroud.
The Red Devils, meanwhile, struggled at the outset of the campaign following the departure of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson from the bench at Old Trafford, but have recovered to win three of the last four and are keen to bring in a fresh face to bolster the ranks up front.
But for Cerci, a move abroad at this time wouldn’t exactly be prudent.
Reports from Italy have suggested that the Granata man is hesitant to accept a switch away from his current environs, for fear of jeopardizing his place in the national team ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, and his concern is quite founded. Along with a transfer to the Premier League would come the need to settle in a new country, a different style of play to adapt to, and the lack of an assured place in the starting 11 at either Arsenal or United.
Take, for example, the case of Erik Lamela. The former Roma man was snapped up by Tottenham at the end of the summer, and to date, has made just four top flight appearances for the White Hart Lane outfit, failing to hit the back of the net as he slowly adapts to an unfamiliar brand of soccer.
Cerci would have even less time to become accustomed to new surroundings with a January move, all while needing to make a convincing final impression on Prandelli that he deserves to travel with the Azzurri, come the showpiece event in Brazil just down the road.
The speedy Italy international would thus do better to remain in place for the time being, as it appears he is inclined to do, continuing on under the coach that revived his career with eyes on taking part in world soccer’s most prestigious competition.
Indeed, making the transition to a top club after the World Cup would be the most astute choice, when his stock on the transfer market could be even higher and he would be under less pressure to switch gears successfully at a rapid rate.
Given his history of requiring significant periods of adjustment to reach full form, staying in place for a crucial spanof months to come is indisputably the best option for Cerci.