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Southampton's new signing Daniel Osvaldo a 'bargain' at nearly £15m
Saints have landed an “absolute bargain” with the signing of Daniel Osvaldo, according to Italian football expert Tancredi Palmeri.
Osvaldo was officially unveiled at St Mary’s yesterday, after joining from Roma in a transfer worth €15.1m up front, plus a possible €2m in bonuses.
The potential total of nearly £15m represents a club record for Saints, but Palmeri insists that it is a wonderful deal, comparing the striker, pictured right, to £26m Spurs signing Roberto Soldado.
The CNN correspondent and Gazzetta dello Sport contributor said: “I believe he is brilliant. For the price they are getting him at, I believe it is an absolute bargain. He has always performed and always delivered.
“I don’t see a huge difference between, for example, Osvaldo and Soldado, and he went for €30m, so what a bargain.
“We are talking about, if not a starter, then at least a 12th man of the Italian national team.”
Osvaldo arrives in Southampton with suggestions of a bad-boy reputation, having being involved in a series of controversial incidents during his time in Rome, when certain sections of supporters turned against him, but Palmeri is adamant that the tag is undeserved.
“It’s not that it’s coming from nowhere, but his reputation is pretty unfair,” he said.
“It’s true he’s not an easy character, but there is a huge difference between that and being someone who makes trouble.
“If he was such a bad character anyway, then ask yourself why would Pochettino want him back?
“As a person, he is a different character. He’s not a typical footballer. He is a huge fan of rock music, he plays guitar, and he can be poetic. He is a free soul.
“He always had a lot of personality and he didn’t hide it. Sometimes there is this pantomime of players apologising to fans for bad performances, but he never joined this kind of policy, and this was misinterpreted as him not caring about them. He just thought he should be judged for what he did on the pitch and not off it.”
Palmeri, who believes Saints were encouraged to persist in their pursuit of the player by Roma management, also thinks that Osvaldo will fit well into the Premier League.
“He’s the kind of guy who is 100 per cent at everything up front, meaning he has the capacity to score goals, but also the capacity to help the build-up and the capacity to assist,” he said.
“That makes him the sort of forward that is probably the most useful for every manager, because they know they have someone pretty versatile at all the qualities they require.
“Yes, there are people who are individually better at scoring, better at assisting, and better at the physical game, but he has a high standard in all three of those skills.
“Last but not least, he has got personality. It means that when he is under pressure he is always able to deliver.
“We have seen players coming from Serie A to the Premier League and they often have more creativity than those in the Premier League, and more tactical intelligence than the average in the Premier League, but they don’t have the intensity.
“The Premier League is played at a high pace all the time, and that quality is absolutely demanded from players. Osvaldo has always been quite English in his style of play in that sense.
“He has an ability to always be in the game. I believe this favours him, particularly in English football, plus he has Pochettino, who knows him.”
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