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5 players who should never have left Serie A


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By Football Italiano

Friday 26 October 2018

For all the success stories of leaving the world of Italian football in search of gold (trophies) and riches, the grass is not always greener outside of Serie A. We have taken a look at 5 players who must look back on their move overseas as a mistake:



1. Paul Pogba


The French midfielder is still only 25-years-old, but has 4 Serie A titles (and a World Cup), to his name. However a Premier League winners medal with Manchester United looks far away currently. Following his £89.3m move in 2016, Pogba and manager Jose Mourinho have had a fractured relationship, with the coach unhappy that club form is not matching international form.


Pogba has also failed to convince pundits of the game, with Graeme Souness stating: “Pogba plays for himself, it’s all about how cool he looks, showing us how clever he is."


2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic


While only Zlatan can determine whether what Zlatan does is a success or not, his move from Inter to Barcelona in 2009 has often been described as a mistake. Not so much from a goalscoring point of view - he did still net 16 league goals in 29 matches - but he was expected to be a new star of the Camp Nou. In reality, he was back in Milan the next season.


A falling out with coach Pep Guardiola was the main reason, with Zlatan having to play second fiddle to Lionel Messi, and was dropped when he complained: "I think something is strange. From that moment he stopped talking to me, looking at me. I go into a room and he walks out of it. He was not a bad person, but the most immature I've had because a man solves his problems."


3. Manolo Gabbiadini


The 26-year-old Italian moved to the south coast for £14m from Napoli, where he had impressed under Maurizio Sarri. He had a positive first season with the Saints, scoring key goals, but things have started to go downhill. This season Gabbiadini has started just one league game, and recently admitted: “The fans love me. But I would not have imagined a beginning of the season like this. Maybe I would have better evaluated the offers I had from Italy, even if I really wanted to not give up and stay in the Premier League.” Clearly the Italian regrets not making a Serie A return in the summer.


4. Riccardo Kaka


Kaka was at one stage considered amongst, if not, THE best player in the world. He led Milan to Champions League victory, and was set to be the next Galactico to join Real Madrid. However, injuries in his first two seasons stuttered his progress, including 10 months out with a knee injury, and by the time he was fit again, he found fans favourite Mesut Ozil in his position.


Kaka has recently lamented the lack of opportunity afforded him by Jose Mourinho, claiming: "I trained, I fought and I prayed a lot, but having not received the confidence of the coach, I realised that I could not work with him".


5. Antonio Cassano


Another player who moved to the Bernabeu, but Cassano couldn't have been a more different personality to Kaka. The Bari born Bomber moved to Real Madrid for just 5m euros as his contract with Roma neared it's end, and scored just three minutes into his debut appearance in the Spanish Super Cup. However he fell out with hard taskmaster Coach Fabio Capello, and claimed on a radio appearance that he was willing to "walk all the way back" to return to Rome.


During his sole season in Madrid, Fantantonio scored a lot more off the pitch than on it (if you believe his autobiography claims of bedding 700 women by the age of 25). What is true however, is that he returned to Serie A 18 months later, on loan with Sampdoria where he would enjoy some of his best years.



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