Italian press are reporting Villarreal’s interest in 25 year-old Crotone defender Federico Ceccherini. He joined Crotone from Livorno last summer for €900,000.
Why would we be interested? Here’s the conversation I had with myself....
Self 1: Well, why not? Did you hear me, he’s a centerback!! He’s probably not too expensive. 25 years old. Serie A experience with Crotone and Livorno. We like Italian players of late. And Daniele Bonera isn’t getting any younger. You can never have enough centerbacks—it’s a position where people get injured often!
Self 2: Sure, if you have centerbacks made of glass like Chechu Dorado. But between Ruiz, Alvaro, and Semedo, we have a young beast, and two still-in-career-prime CBs. Why do we need this guy?
—His Whoscored profile says he has really good ball interception and concentration skills. And he was man of the match for Crotone three times, and was the highest-rated player on the Crotone squad.
—And they finished where, exactly? Next to the relegation zone? Besides, it also says he can’t pass the ball well at all. “Passing: very weak”.
—-Sure, but he’s tall....tall is good....and he’s a centerback!
—-He sounds a lot like Florian Lejeune. Who was a centerback. Who never made it with us.
—- Sure, but he did at Eibar, and they sold him for €10m to Newcastle. Centerbacks are good investments!
—-Look, if we sign this guy, he has to play, which means he has to become something more than a fourth centerback or a Copa/Europa League fill-in, or else we loan him to another Primera side. The first doesn’t seem likely, the second....why would we do that?
—- Because he’s a centerback.
—- Is that your answer to everything?
—-As a matter of fact, yes! All right then: what if we sign him and loan him back to Crotone for a year, figure he’ll get the chance to play for us in 2018-19. Hey, if the price is right....after all, all the article says is we’re interested, not that we’re “close to” him or anything.
—-You’ve been playing too much Football Manager. That seems kinda crazy.....
—-No, crazy is Atletico Madrid signing players like Vitolo while they’re under a transfer ban. This is just planning ahead. Modern football. Especially where centerbacks are concerned.
—- Well, I gotta admit you’re better than me at Football Manager....
—-Exactly. Now, who’s buying the beer?
(for the record, I’m going with the “no truth to rumor”). Fun to think about though.