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Stewart Coggin

Milanís Unnecessary Gamble

By December 21, 2010

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It seems no matter how often a player steps out of line, there is always a club willing to give him another chance.

Such is the case with Antonio Cassano who after burning his bridges at Sampdoria, is joining Serie A leaders Milan.

But aside from Cassano's dubious character (his latest faux pas was to insult Samp president Riccardo Garrone to the extent that the club attempted to get his contract rescinded), do the Rossoneri really need him? And is there not a real danger that he could upset squad equilibrium both on the pitch and off it?

According to president Silvio Berlusconi, one of the chief reasons the club is so keen to land 'Fantantonio' is because Ronaldinho is likely to leave the club in January.

This is primarily because the Brazilian has been a peripheral figure due to the form of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Kevin-Prince Boateng. Milan have found a nice balance with Zlatan and Robinho in the team, with Boateng playing just behind.

If Cassano was to force his way into Massimiliano Allegri's team, it would be at the expense of either Robinho or Boateng, and why break a winning combination? Milan are currently three points clear at the top, the attack is functioning well and no matter how talented Cassano is, it would take time for the former Roma man to settle.

The alternative is to use him as a substitute in most matches, perhaps only utilizing him in Serie A when the Champions League comes round in February (he is cup-tied having featured for Sampdoria in the qualifiers). But how happy would he be with that particular scenario?

Alexandre Pato will also be back by then, and the young Brazilian's development should not be hindered.

Cassano's outspoken nature will not change. That is the man. If Milan fast track him into the starting line-up, they risk jeopardizing a winning formula. If they don't, the club may have an unhappy Cassano on its hands.

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Massimo Cebrelli / Getty Images


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