The 32-year-old enjoyed two mixed years at Leeds United but is finding goals easier to come by in his native Italy.
Perhaps the most impressive factor in Garry Monk’s revolution at Leeds United is that the club’s funds are no longer being wasted on unknown imports you vaguely remember from a three-year old version of Football Manager.
Gone are the Granddi N’Goyis and Brian Montenegros, in are the Pablo Hernandezs, the Pontus Janssons, the Luke Aylings and the Rob Greens. Essentially, a mix of players who have proven themselves in an English football environment and astute overseas additions headhunted to fit into the manager’s style of play.
The sales, too, have made almost perfect sense. In fact, the likes of Tounami Diagouraga, Luke Murphy, Giuseppe Bellusci and Lee Erwin did little to suggest there was any sense signing them in the first place.
Yet, if Monk has one regret about his reshaping of a hitherto haphazard squad into something resembling a team put together with thought and foresight, it could be letting Mirko Antenucci leave on a free.
The Italian may have scored just 19 goals in 75 games in two seasons at Elland Road and, according to Ternana News, wished he had upped sticks sooner.
Yet, Antenucci impressed when given a sustained run in the side. Though therein lies the issue. Leeds had five different managers in those two seasons, each with their own ideas and philosophy. Antenucci’s status at the club changed on an almost monthly basis.
And, in Serie B, the 32-year-old is proving what he can do when his presence in the starting line-up is uninterrupted. Netting his tenth league goal of the season with a dramatic late equaliser against Pisa, Antenucci propelled SPAL to the top of the second tier table.
Just for context, they were only promoted to Serie B last season.
There’s no doubt Antenucci has no regrets about his decision. But, with his side still so reliant on Chris Wood, should Monk have done more to keep him?