CESENA ITALY - FEBRUARY 02: Marco Parolo of Cesena in action during the Serie A match between AC Cesena and Catania Calcio at Dino Manuzzi Stadium on February 2 2011 in Cesena Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
It's deadline day, and so naturally we're going to be linked to all sorts of players around the globe. Most will be big name guys and have absolutely no factual basis behind the "news" (see Ribery, Frank), while I'm sure there will be an under the radar inquiry or two that many people have never heard of. If Sky Sports Italia is to be believed, one such player would be Cesena midfielder Marco Parolo.
I'm sure many of you are unfamiliar, and I happened to have some of his stuff bookmarked, so here's a quickie profile (sorry it's a little less detailed than the usual stuff...lot's going on at the moment). Parolo is 26 years of age and stand 6'1" tall. He's played his entire career in Italy, and has played for a different club every year since 2006 until his spell at Cesena. He's been steadily becoming more and more impressive, and this past season he was good enough that he earned his first callup to the Italian national squad. So far this season he's been linked heavily to AC Milan, Lazio, Juventus (who hasn't been linked with them?), and Roma.
Parolo is a player in a similar mold to Graham favorite Ricardo Montilivo. He's capable of playing on both the left and right flanks, but he's most comfortable centrally. He's a pass first midfielder who has the size and speed combination to really cause defenses fits. He's got an eye for goal as well, scoring 9 goals from open play in the last two seasons. Like Modric, Moutinho, Meireles, and Montilivo he plays as more of a deep lying playmaker than earlier target Javier Pastore. He's good enough with the ball at his feet for Chelsea, but I'd hardly call him a tricky dribbler. His passing and decision making are certainly his bread and butter, and he's also got the ability to fire some longer shots.
Defensively, Paolo is still somewhat raw. His tracking is good, but he has a habit of fouling at a high rate when tackling. Still, he's never played in a really solid defensive system, and his work rate is good enough to think he may be an above average defender in the Premier League. He's actually pretty good in the air, so he'd be a useful addition against some of the more direct teams we tend to see on rainy Tuesday nights in England. Here's a little video compilation of Parolo so you can get a look:
I haven't heard any sort of price attached to Parolo, but like Montilivo I'd expect he'd be on the lower side of the guys we've been linked with. Cesena are certainly a club with the motivation to sell him abroad as opposed to an Italian rival, and if this interest is true Chelsea are likely the biggest club he'll be linked to. All in all, it's a link that actually makes some sense, and if the price was right he'd be a decent addition to the squad. Feel free to leave your thoughts below...