Gattuso needs a new challenge, but where should he go?

May 6, 2008

Gennaro Gattuso

Italian players used to stick to their own league until relatively recently.

Then Gianluca Vialli and Gianfranco Zola wowed Chelsea and the floodgates opened with the likes of Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta and Luca Toni going abroad.

Now AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has hinted he may want a fresh challenge away from Serie A.

Having already had a short stint at Rangers in the late 90s, Gattuso would appear to be ready made to play in another European league. He is more of an English midfielder than an Italian one, charging around and launching tackles rather than pinging long passes.

He said last week the Premier League appealed to him but rumours in the Italian and German press say Bayern Munich, thrilled by the success of Toni this season, are very interested.

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has said Gattuso is the heartbeat of the team and will not be allowed to leave whether he wants to or not. But after signing Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini on Monday, Milan already have a replacement.

Gattuso has had an average season by his standards for a stuttering Milan side but will be keen to remind Europe of his ability in Euro 2008.

Should he stay or go? If he does leave is Bayern or the Premier League his best bet?  

Mark Meadows, Milan

PHOTO: Gattuso lies on the pitch during AC Milan’s Serie A match against Genoa, Jan 27. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

6 comments

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All the talk now is about how the English Premiership is the best league in the world ( http://thebestleagueintheworld.com ) but that may just be a product of the dominance of the English media and of the money in the English game just now. We shall see how all of this unfolds. As a fan of Serie A and as someone who has great reverance for the history of a beautiful club like Milan, I find it hard to believe that any player would want to leave there. In fact, Arsenal’s Flamini is going in the opposite direction – which to my mind could be a new trend for Premiership players who find the game to be too raw and physical there. But that is precisely the type of game Gattuso craves. So he might be happy. And happy also with the raucous and hearty fan experience there. Still, I wouldn’t do it if I were him. For me he is in the perfect place: he is with one of the most beautiful football clubs of all time and he is playing in what some people call “Campionato Più Bello Del Mondo”. The challenge you speak of therefore lies within the very club he plays for: Milan needs to be rebuilt and could be rebuilt more quickly with him there. Gattuso and Flamini could in fact hoist another Champions League trophy for Milan by next spring. And surely that is something worth staying in Milan for…

Manchester United.

Posted by Simon Evans | Report as abusive

Pirlo is the one I’d like to see in England. I don’t suppose Liverpool would go for him but maybe Arsenal?

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

I would have agreed with Man Utd last season but now with Carrick and Hargreaves there Gattuso may be a bit similar (ie not attacking enough). Smith was Rangers boss the last time he was there, his wife is Scottish and now they are UEFA Cup finalists. It is not beyond belief that he may be tempted back.
Pirlo seems happy enough in Italy but as a swap for Flamini, Wenger would certainly have got a better deal!

Posted by Mark Meadows | Report as abusive

He should absolutely go to Bayern. They are looking to revamp their central midfield and München is pretty close to Milan so he wouldn’t be far from home.
Plus he’d be moving to an CL contender and making them even stronger.

Posted by papa bear | Report as abusive

If he needs a real challenge, and he really wanted to, he should go to Newcastle United. Going to other ‘Big’ clubs means no challenge at all, why should he go to Manchester United? to warm-up their bench seats? Come to St. James’s Park is the world’s most real challenge for any players/managers.