After pretty much every notable player left Villarreal as the yellow submarine sunk to the depths of the Segunda division in Spain, Giuseppe Rossi is the last man standing, although his goal is to be with a new team by the time he’s back on the pitch in early 2013, hopefully in the Italian Serie A.
Who’s interested? Despite Rossi currently coming back from yet another injury, the 25 year old striker is gathering quite a lot of interest from Italian clubs, specifically Milan, Roma and Napoli. The Italian-American has been with Villareal since 2007 and has scored in double figures each year except for last season, derailed because of injuring and re-injuring his ACL. In all, he has scored 54 goals in 136 matches for Villarreal, including a personal best 18 in 2010-2011, prior to all the injury problems.
It was somewhat of a curse last season with the small club from East Spain, in the vicinity of Valencia. The injuries began early on, hampering not only their Champions League performance but putting the club in an impossible hole to get out of late in the season, eventually finishing 18th and dropping back to the second division after 12 consecutive seasons of finishing mostly in the top 7 of the La Liga.
A mass exodus followed – Borja Valero, Diego Lopez, Marco Ruben, Carlos Marchena, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Angel Lopez and Nilmar. Rossi wants out as well, but the fact that he probably won’t be able to play until February 2013 is holding teams back, possibly waiting for the January transfer window to her more about his progression in training.
Rossi, born in the United States to Italian immigrant parents moved back to Italy at the age of 12, joining the Parma youth system. At 17 his contract was bought by Manchester United and despite scoring a goal early on for the Red Devils, he didn’t find a place with the team. After a loan period with Parma, scoring 9 goals in 19 matches, United decided to sell him to Villarreal, where he has spent the last 5 seasons, quite successfully, drawing praise for his goal scoring and play-making abilities.