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Why a Championship rival should sign former Leeds star Mirco Antenucci for free

Elland Road

The Leeds United forward is leaving the club for pastures new this summer.

Mirco Antenucci celebrates after scoring the first goal for Leeds from the penalty spot

Italian striker Mirco Antenucci will leave Elland Road this summer with a whole host of clubs in his homeland linked with his services.

According to recent reports from TMW and Tuttosport SPAL and Cremonese are the latest sides be keen on the goal-scorer, but there could be an alternative for the 31-year-old that could allow him to come back and haunt his former employers if he so wishes.

While a return to Italy does seem the likeliest option at this stage of Antenucci’s career, he has proved to be a fine player for a Championship side, finishing the 2014/2015 season as Leeds’ top scorer despite falling down the pecking order in the final few months of the campaign.

In total Antenucci has scored 19 goals in 80 appearances for Leeds, which is not exactly form to set the pulses racing, but he has been in and out of the side under a whole host of different managers and many of those games were from the bench.

When he finally got a run in the side last season, albeit briefly, Antenucci scored four goals and provided one assist in three consecutive 90-minute appearances.

Cole Skuse of Ipswich Town (L) and Mirco Antenucci of Leeds United in action

The season before he netted regularly, scoring 10 goals in relatively quick succession, before he had to get used to a prolonged spell on the bench after yet another managerial change, and the simple fact is he could do a great job for one of Leeds’ rivals if they took a chance on him.

On a free transfer, with a point to prove and with a few years left at the top of his game, Antenucci would be well worth a risk for a Championship side keen to add more fire-power to their squad.

The question is: Are there any suitors who can convince him to delay his return to Italy?

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