Calcio Debate: Which Forward Should Inter Buy To Partner Ibrahimovic?

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    RefreSh
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    Calcio Debate: Which Forward Should Inter Buy To Partner Ibrahimovic?

    Post by RefreSh on Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:10 am

    Inter are in the market for a centre forward, but who should they go for? Carlo Garganese nominates some possible options…

    Inter may be flying high at the top of Serie A at the moment, six points clear of Juventus, having embarked on a stunning eight-game domestic winning streak. They may also be the highest scorers in the division, having found the back of the net 31 times in 17 games.

    However, despite this, the Nerazzurri are still not the complete package up-front. Jose Mourinho scrapped his favoured 4-3-3 when he realised that neither the formation, nor summer signings Ricardo Quaresma and Amantino Mancini, were up to the job, and ‘The Special One’ has since failed to find the perfect partner for the talismanic Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

    The Super Swede has been a one-man show in attack for most of the campaign. He has scored ten times in Serie A, none of these penalties, while the next best marksman is Julio Cruz, who has rippled the net just twice. Adriano and Victor Obinna have scored once domestically, while Mario Balotelli and Hernan Crespo are yet to get off the mark.

    With Adriano, Balotelli and Crespo possibly on their way out of the club, permanently or temporarily, Inter have been searching around for an attacking-partner for Ibrahimovic.

    Here are some of the players who have been linked over the past few weeks…

    Diego Milito (Genoa)

    “Every Serie A coach would like to have Milito at their disposal, but I think it will be really hard for Genoa to let him go,” Mourinho stated only last week. The Argentine is probably the purest penalty-box hitman in Europe, and he is currently top-scorer in Serie A with 12 goals. He would be the perfect player to get onto the end of Ibrahimovic’s through balls, while his aerial prowess would prove lethal from Maicon’s right wing crosses. As an Argentine, he would fit in well at Inter, but the chances of him leaving Genoa, a club he loves and only rejoined in the summer, are slim.

    Suitability: The perfect signing
    Chances Of January Move: Highly unlikely, but not completely impossible

    Didier Drogba (Chelsea)

    Mourinho’s fascination with Drogba sparks back memories of Fabio Capello’s obsession with Christian Panucci. It is clear that they have great respect for one another, and are a winning pair of aces. Would Drogba and Ibrahimovic work well together? I have never been keen on two big forwards, especially as both primarily like to hold the ball up, rather than run in behind. However, there is plenty enough guile to Ibra’s game to make the partnership work, even if I would prefer Milito. A January move is not impossible given Drogba’s unhappiness in West London, although a summer transfer is more realistic, especially as he is ineligible for the Champions League.

    Suitability: A good signing
    Chances Of January Move: Not impossible in January, but more likely in June

    Robert Acquafresca (Cagliari)

    Described by some as the “New Luca Toni”, Acquafresca is actually owned by Inter, and has scored 16 goals in Serie A for Cagliari over the past 15 months. Inter could opt to recall him this month, but it seems likely that Mourinho will deem the 21-year-old as too inexperienced at this stage. The Portuguese is a “three-years-at-one-club” kind of coach, and thus he prefers ready-made players, rather than those who still need developing.

    Suitability: Not ready for Inter yet
    Chances Of January Move: Highly unlikely

    Michael Owen (Newcastle)

    The 29-year-old’s contract runs out at the end of the season, and it seems doubtful he will sign another one. Newcastle could cash in this month, and Inter have been linked. Whoever started this rumour is obviously a comedian or a conman because Mourinho (like Capello) just does not rate players of Owen’s breed. He prefers those who are more complete and physical, and can join in with the play. "I have never thought of him. In the last year, he has had major injuries and is no longer the Owen that we knew," was the coach’s rubbishing of the rumours at the weekend.

    Suitability: Does not ‘fit’
    Chances Of January Move: As likely as Claudio Ranieri becoming Mourinho’s best man.

    Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona)

    After an under-par 2007/08 season, Eto’o, like Barcelona, has roared back to form this season, and is currently top of La Liga scorers charts, with 15 goals. His explosiveness would make him a devastating partner for Ibrahimovic in the Inter attack and, who knows, a future transfer to Serie A could be on the cards. Not in January though, as Barca won’t consider releasing the influential Cameroonian mid-season.

    Suitability: Would be a fantastic signing
    Chances Of January Move: As likely as Michael Owen releasing a ‘stay fit’ video

    Carlos Tevez (Manchester United)

    There is not a player at Man Utd who has scored as many decisive goals as Tevez. The Argentine’s future at Old Trafford is very uncertain though - his two-year loan agreement ends in June, and United appear reluctant to pay the £32 million to make the move permanent. Mourinho would be interested as it would allow him to once again try out his favoured 4-3-3, a formation the tireless Tevez has flourished in. However, United will definitely hold on to him until his loan ends.

    Suitability: Would suit Mourinho
    Chances Of January Move: Impossible in January, but everything is possible in the summer

    Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal)

    Bendtner has had a torrid season thus far, scoring just one league goal, and missing more chances than a Luther Blissett and Shola Ameobi lovechild. I am one of the very few though who believes that he does possess enough attributes to one day be a fine player. Mourinho may feel he can get the best out of him, even if the fact that Bendtner is only 20 could be an issue. The Dane has lost the faith of Arsene Wenger recently, and has been linked with a move to Inter in an exchange deal involving Mario Balotelli.

    Suitability: A little too similar in style to Ibrahimovic, too inconsistent, inexperienced, and not a good enough finisher for the short term, but in the future there is scope for major improvement
    Chances Of January Move: Unlikely for the reasons above

    Jo (Manchester City)

    The Brazilian left a huge impression last year when he scored against Inter in the Champions League for CSKA Moscow. However, quite what has happened to Jo since signing for Manchester City, for a fee in the region of €25m, is a complete mystery, and he has scored just three goals in 19 appearances. This led him to finish third in a Goal.com Poll for transfer flop of the season, behind Inter’s Quaresma, and Milan’s Andriy Shevchenko. Jo has been linked with a move to San Siro in a swap deal involving Adriano, but it seems doubtful Mourinho would plump for a player who is so hideously lacking in form and confidence.

    Suitability: No, unless he finds his mojo
    Chances Of January Move: Unlikely, but not impossible if Adriano goes the other way

    What are your views on this topic? Which forward do you believe Inter should buy? Who is most likely to arrive in January? Is there anyone on this list who could be a possibility? Goal.com wants to know what YOU think…

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