Alessio Cerci from bad boy to Torino’s wing wizard
However, could 2013 be the year Cerci fulfills his undoubted potential? A good first half of the season has culminated in Cerci putting in two goal scoring performances that have landed Torino six points since the start of the year.
A €4million move to Fiorentina in 2010, gave Cerci his first real chance to showcase his ability, yet it was seen far too infrequently. Cerci was heavily linked with a move to England and Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City, however for whatever reason the deal never surfaced.
Under Sinisa Mihajlovic at Fiorentina, Cerci was a regular, however following the Serbian’s dismissal during the 2011-12 season and the subsequent appointment of Delio Rossi and his change in style, it meant that Cerci was a peripheral figure with the Viola.
Despite being a favourite of Mihajlovic, Cerci and controversy were never far apart when under the stewardship of the former Lazio midfielder. The Italian under 21 international was fined for criticising his manager after being substituted in a 3-0 victory over Parma in 2011.
Cerci however has always been quick to dismiss the beliefs he is a ‘bad boy’. “Those who know the real Cerci will say I’m not a rebel, nor a troublemaker.”
Cerci came in for stick from the Fiorentina fans who felt his lifestyle was ‘too flashy’ and Vincenzo Montella’s appointment in the summer saw Cerci’s time with the Florence giants come to an end, with the newly promoted Torino acquiring his services for €6.5million.
Torino currently side right in the middle of the Serie A table and with little chance of them qualifying for the Europa League nor struggling to survive, there is little pressure on ‘Il Granata’ for the remainder of the season.
When a player breaks into a big side at a young age, the media and fans alike expect lots from them, unfortunately for the clubs of Cerci, none of them have seen on a consistent basis the obvious potential. At Torino there is less pressure on him, making them arguably the perfect club for him to get his career back on track.
Recently his form has mirrored that of his club, with Torino in the middle of their best form of the season, with Cerci influential in Torino’s recent 2-0 away win over Pescara, providing a goal an assist in a fine away victory that gave the seven time Serie A champions a nine point cushion above the bottom three.
Despite Italy’s lack of world-class wingers, Cerci has never been given an Italian cap, however given his current form there have been calls for Cesare Prandelli to recognise his form with a call up. If an Azzuri cap comes Cerci’s way it would complete a remarkable turnaround after being made a ‘scapegoat’ in his own words with his previous clubs.
Follow Joshua Jones on Twitter: @seabourne92