3 reasons Premier League clubs should avoid 'unsettled' €19m defender

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A slew of top Premier League clubs, Tottenham, Chelsea, and Manchester United to name three, have been linked with a move for Andrea Ranocchia but should steer well clear.

According to the Express, the Inter defender has grown frustrated with life at San Siro and is ready to hand in a transfer request in a bid to establish himself in new surroundings.

It’s questionable whether the 25-year-old truly is on the brink of making a formal request to leave the Nerazzurri, as just in late November he acknowledged that rumours of a San Siro departure have been a common, yet often unsubstantiated, occurrence for him.

“I see my name in all of the market sessions and it’s nice to know that you are wanted, but I’m just concentrating on the championship and then we’ll see what happens in July,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“The rumours don’t bother me though. Every year I hear that I will be sold and I always end up staying here.”

Ranocchia’s current deal expires in 2015 and he’s yet to agree a new deal, further fanning the flames of talk of a move to the Premier League, whilst he hasn’t entirely ruled out a move to England as Inter are knowingly prepared to sell-to-buy in January with new owner Erick Thohir having completed his takeover of the club.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs have all been named as suitors for his services by the Express, each looking to bolster defensive options in view of consolidating their varying positions on the table.

Whilst swooping for the towering Italian may seem both functionally astute and opportune, however, following are three reasons why the clubs reportedly interested should look for aid elsewhere in central defence.

1) Error prone

Once viewed as Italy’s brightest young star in defence alongside former Bari teammate Leonardo Bonucci, who has since gone on to win the Serie A title twice as a regular starter for Juventus under ex-Galletti boss Antonio Conte, Ranocchia’s progress has been hindered by an inexplicable penchant to commit calamitous errors.

It is this exact tendency that saw him miss out on the Azzurri squad for Euro 2012 as he displayed a distinct lack of security in possession and tactical awareness in the build-up to the competition for his club, causing Cesare Prandelli to leave him out for the trip to Poland and Ukraine.

As he’s matured in his years his fallibility hasn’t subsided as hoped and haunts him to the present, showing up once again as he struggled recently in Italy’s 2-2 friendly draw with Nigeria at Craven Cottage.

2) Lack of Upside

As previously mentioned, Ranocchia hasn’t made the strides in development expected of a centre-back who’s now reached 25 years of age, and it’s questionable whether he’ll continue to improve at this point in his career.

He’s never been able to fully lock down a starting position in his tenure as a professional, dogged by inconsistency, a revolving door of coaches at Inter and injury issues, particularly with his knees.

Defenders can play on at a higher level longer than attackers and in turn have longer to reach their full potential, but as Inter paid a total of €19 million for him will be keen to recoup such an investment, which is one too hefty of a gamble for Premier League teams that need an immediate impact to take.

3) Previous struggles

Ranocchia came up against Tottenham in the Europa League last season at White Hart Lane and had a rough go of things against Andre Villas-Boas’ men.

Pacy opponents such as Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon, both of whom featured for Spurs on that day in a 4-1 win, have been known to catch the Inter man out as recovery speed has always been a prominent weakness of his.

Thus a game of significant tempo wouldn’t likely suit him, as he’d be playing in a high line for top clubs in England under threat of being sent on the back foot by teams looking to hit swiftly on the counter.

image: © ell-r-brown

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