Tomorrow Inter will take on a Palermo side that have been inconsistent to far this season. The Rosanero are in 11th place on 10 points, and are looking to secure top flight safety for a second consecutive season. One of the hidden gems in Serie A last season was Franco Vazquez. The Italian international truly broke out with the assistance of Paulo Dybala (moved to Juventus this past summer). Vasquez was able to reach double digits for both goals (10) and assists (10) last season, putting him as joint top on the assists charts. Before the end of last term, Franco Vasquez was a forgotten name in calcio, but hard work has put the attacker where he deserves to be. I will be discussing Franco Vazquez’s road to success, and what threat he will post to Inter in tomorrow’s clash.
In the summer of 2011, Palermo sold Javier Pastore for a whopping 40 million euros. The Argentine was one of the most promising starts in world football. Pastore’s vision, shooting, and flair made him such a prized prospect. Maurizio Zamparnini was adamant on spending as little as possible, a the look for a cheap replacement began. On September 1st 2011, Palermo confirmed that they had reached an agreement with Argentine club Belgrano for the transfer of Franco Vazquez for 4.5 million euros. Vazquez had to wait until December of that very year to register with the squad. Unfortunately for the Argentine, he was unable to notch a goal in his first half-season in Italy.
Ray Vallecano (2012-2013 season)
After an underwhelming first 6 months in Italy, Franco Vazquez joined Rayo Vallecano on loan. Although the Argentine showed glimpses of his special talent, Rayo decided not to redeem the player, who scored 3 goals that very season. Palermo were relegated to Serie B that very season, so Vazquez knew that he could re-establish himself as the player the club and fans expected him to become.
Return to Palermo (2013-present)
After a disappointing season in Spain, Vazquez returned to Palermo in a bid to become the Rosanero’s star. Unfortunately, coach Gennaro Gattuso left the forward out of his squad list for the first half of the Serie B season. Luckily for Vazquez, Gattuso was soon sacked, and new coach Giuseppe Iachini took over. In January, Iachini re-included Vazquez in the squad, and the Argentine relished relished the opportunity that was presented to him. The forward scored 4 goals and assisted 5 in 17 starts for Palermo as they won the Serie B title and returned to Serie A.
In the 2014/15 Serie A season, Franco Vazquez and Paulo Dybala took Serie A by storm, as Palermo became a dangerous side in the attacking third. Vasquez’s fantastic vision, strength, and shooting combined with Dybala’s pace, flair, and finesse made the duo one of the best in the league. While most of the attention was on Dybala, Vazquez continued to perform wonders for the Rosanero. At the end of the season, Vasquez scored 10 goals and assisted 10 more, as Palermo secured top flight safety. Vasquez also earned a call up to the Italian national team, and has ever since become a regular in Conte’s squad. Things are looking bright for Franco Vazquez.
This season Vazquez has continued on the same foot in which he ended the last one. The Argentine has been involved in half of Palermo’s goals so far this season, with 1 goal and 4 assists. It is no surprise that if Inter are to come away with a good result in Siciliy, they will have to keep Vasquez quiet. The Argentine has become even more unselfish, and is assisting his teammates at any opportunity.
Last season Paulo Dybala’s magical runs, world class goals, and stunning touches took center stage. The 21 year old attracted attention from top teams across Europe. While Dybala was getting most of the attention, Vazquez quietly put together an amazing season. Perhaps one of the reasons why Dybala was so highly prized could have been the fact that he is younger, has more flair to his game, and has scored some amazing goals. Vazquez’s hard work, vision, and shooting prowess were perhaps under the radar last term. This summer Maurizio Zamparnini stated that he rejected “three offers for Vazquez.” The Italian international is believed to have a pricetag of 25 million euros, and he does his talking on the pitch. Inter need to give Vazquez as little space as possible, which is clearly easier said than done. Franco Vazquez will be at the center of any success Palermo have this season, but tomorrow Inter will hope to close him down.
Thanks for the read! Would you want Franco Vasquez at Inter? Do you rate Vasquez over Jovetic? Comment and tweet at me @aadamforzainter.