Osvaldo - Mad Man or Tortured Soul?

Last Updated: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:55
Southampton

When Dani Osvaldo arrived on the South Coast following his £12.8million move from Roma, he brought with him his notorious attitude.

He famously got into numerous scrapes during his time in Italy. The forward recently hit the headlines in Britain for allegedly head-butting team-mate Jose Fonte, an incident which saw Southampton suspend him for two weeks.

So is Osvaldo a liability or a necessary evil?

The incident with Fonte was not Osvaldo's first altercation with a team-mate as, while he was at Roma, he hit Erik Lamela, now at Tottenham, for not passing him the ball during the club's 2-0 defeat to Udinese.

The fact that this incident is not the first time Osvaldo has assaulted a team-mate is a very worrying sign. Successful squads are harmonious clubs, Osvaldo is a divisive figure in the camp, he splits squads into factions, those with him and those against him. This unduly weakens the unity and the effective strength of the squad, and causes more harm than good.

Whilst on the pitch his disciplinary record is not endearing.

During 2012, the Italian was sent off five times, which led Roma fans to turn against the maverick forward. Rightly so, what is the point of having a player who gets sent off once every other month? Five red cards, assuming they are all straight reds, would have meant Osvaldo would have missed 15 games. A player who cannot control his temper on the pitch is problematic, for want of a better word.

With Juventus interested in the troublesome Saints forward (sportinastorm), then he must have some endearing qualities. Despite his hot-headedness, Osvaldo can play football.

If one looks to his goalscoring record with both Espanyol and Roma, you can see that Osvaldo is worth the risk. With 20 goals in 44 games for Espanyol and 27 goals in 55 league games for Roma, you can see that his goal return is very good. This is why clubs will continue to take a risk on him, because he does score goals. He's a calculated risk, but when it comes off it pays dividends.

While there has to be too much animosity for him to remain at Southampton, Juventus could offer him the chance to resurrect his career. If he can bring a sense of maturity and cool-headedness to his game, then he can be great. Whether we see him again in England remains to be seen.

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