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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Italy not Spurs the next stop for Mammana perhaps

There is a report in the Express I believe, I haven't read it yet as I pen this at 8 am, that Tottenham and Arsenal are going head-to-head for 19-year-old (20 in February) Argentinian defender Emanuel Mammana.

It sounds very much as if they are trying to make a story out of nothing as a little bit of research reveals that while the player would like to go abroad at some stage that won't be until the summer. The are plenty of reports in Italy about Alex being injured, but while AC Milan have contingency plans, Genoa centre-back Sebastian De Maio, the injury to Alex isn't as bad as first feared.

Genoa have their own contingency plans should they need a  replacement themselves, Emanuel Mammana of River Plate features high on that list. According to information leaked to Radio La Red, Fiorentina want the defender as well and are reported to have had a 6m EUR + bonuses bid rejected. He is under contract until 2019 though which maximises any fee.

CurrencyAmountExchange rate
EUREUR Euroland [Euro / €]1 EUR=1 EUR
GBPGBP Great-Britain [Pound sterling / £]1 EUR=0.75965 GBP
AUDAUD Australia [Australian dollar / $ AU]1 EUR=1.5461 AUD
CADCAD Canada [Canadian dollar / $ CA]1 EUR=1.5331 CAD
CHFCHF Switzerland [Swiss franc / F CH]1 EUR=1.1068 CHF
CNYCNY China [Chinese yuan renminbi (RMB) / Ұ]1 EUR=7.1621 CNY
JPYJPY Japan [Japanese yen / ¥]1 EUR=128.91 JPY
MXNMXN Mexico [Mexican peso]1 EUR=20.004 MXN
NZDNZD New-Zealand [New Zealand dollar / $ NZ]1 EUR=1.6739 NZD
SEKSEK Sweden [Swedish krona]1 EUR=9.2591 SEK
USDUSD United States [US dollar / $]1 EUR=1.0888 USD

Why is all this important? Well because he is South American and it is a common practice for Portuguese, Italian and Spanish clubs to part buy South American players who want a shop window in Europe. Premier League clubs have to buy a player in full, part buying is illegal, but not in Europe. We are therefore at a distinct disadvantage, especially with players who have third party owners.

We monitor, we watch, but buying from South America is extremely difficult and how much do you pay to gamble on a young unproven defender from South America. It seems River Plate are looking for between £6m - £7.6m (8-10m EUR) for him. The youth aspect fits with our transfer policy, but the lack of Premier League experience is a minus and at the higher end so is the fee probably. 

He is a centre-back who can play sweeper (my old position where reading a game is essential) or right-back so certainly appears to have the versatility Pochettino favours. A player who can play different positions demonstrates the mental ability a footballer needs to improve. He shows he can take different skill sets, systems and information on board. Players are not robots, some people learn better than others, University is merely a means to show employers that you can learn, versatility effectively shows the same thing.

He has one Argentinian cap and has played two out of six Copa Sudamerica games. Last season he featured in 14 Primera division games, a total of 1,210 minutes. A sweeper has to be comfortable on the ball, a good passer, but most importantly he has to be an excellent reader of the game as he has to figure out what is going to happen and marshall his defence to deal with it or deal with it himself. Toby Alderweireld lists reading the game as his chief asset, it's what makes him such a good defender, he can read where he needs to be better than others.

If Mammana has that ability he could go far, however, the fact that he can be outmuscled is a big negative for life in the Premier League. All in all, Italy looks a far more likely destination for his footballing skills.



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