The Del Piero transfer saga I’ve covered before refuses to die with another wave of rumour, conflicting statements and general chatter from both the MTU and Del Piero camps this week. Adding further confusion to the mix is the obvious gamesmanship being played by Del Piero’s agent and the face-saving employed by MTU management.
All we know is that Del Piero’s representative visited the Yamaha/SCG Stadium and was reportedly impressed. Sorry everyone, but as Bugs Bunny would say “That’s all folks”. The sight of an agent at our home ground got some fans excited but with respect and love for them, I find this slightly naive. A rich Italian agent takes a short,pampered stay in Thailand. How much can we read into that? Speculation of the amount offered, the level of interest shown and the number of clubs competing for the Italian legend’s signature are all toyed with by both sides for reasons that should be glaringly obvious. Even usually well-informed sources within the club are in the dark on this particular saga, it seems to be a personal mission of the owner.
This isn’t to say the transfer won’t happen and the MTU OS was refreshingly honest when it described the chances as: “difficult, but not impossible”. However my personal opinion is that if it was going to happen, it would’ve happened already.
Perhaps I’m following suit with many others and letting my own hopes affect my conclusions because as I’ve said before, if he joins this club I will support him one hundred percent, yet I truly hope we do NOT sign Alessandro Del Piero. The main argument in favour of the move is the extra publicity and prestige it would generate for MTU. A familiar argument, one that I initially spouted when Robbie Fowler signed. Live and learn.
Would the shirt sales and extra media coverage gained from DP donning the Quilins crest really break above even on the fat salary - be it 5 million Euros or otherwise - we splash out on him? Would it outweigh the potential loss of trophies and decline in league position that replacing a player in his prime like Teerasil or Mario with a man older than me clearly inflict? Yes, Del Piero is possibly fitter, sharper and more professional than Fowler. He’s still a semi-retired Latin-European in his very late thirties, on a large salary, in Thailand, up against players known for being fast and tricky.
One fan recently told me that he thinks players like Mario and Barkat wouldn’t have signed for MTU if Fowler had not done so beforehand. Without asking Adnan or the Super one, I disagree. I believe that Mario and co. correctly identified MTU as an exciting, ambitious and wealthy club in a developing league all set in a country that - if you have the cash - is a luxury to live in.
Let’s move past the stage of: “buy the big name player to get attention” and set our sights higher. Save the X million Euros we offered, use them to buy some more quality players for this level who are ambitious and motivated, win a major AFC tournament and move on up. We’re good enough,