Sunderland's New Signing Ignacio Scocco
Ignacio Scocco is leaving Internacional to join English Premier League club Sunderland. The striker is their third Argentine signing this month following Santiago Vergini and Oscar Ustari. It has been estimated that Sunderland are paying $6.5 million to sign him from Internacional, the same amount that the Brazilian club spent to bring him from Argentina.
He has played outside his native Argentina during most of his career, with spells in Greece, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates and Brazil. The 28-year old striker has also been capped once for Argentina. He represented his country in a game against the Brazilian National Team in 2012.
Scocco is a complete attacking player, with good technique, finishing and can also shoot from distance. He is also a versatile player that can also play as an attacking midfielder and as a winger. He's an accomplished free-kick taker and does a good job holding on to the ball, while also contributing to his team's defensive work.
The striker had an exceptional performance at Newell's in 2013, being one of the team's best players in Copa Libertadores and earned a move to Brazilian club Internacional. He was also included by Uruguayan newspaper El País in the 2013 South American Dream Team. Despite all the hype, Scocco could not adapt to Brazilian football, and Internacional's managerial problems further contributed to his failure at the Porto Alegre-based club.
Indeed, he only scored four goals in 17 appearances and failed to fully establish himself in the first team. The lack of success at the Brazilian club led him to lose heart and to publicly express his desire to leave the club. Meanwhile, Internacional were also interested in recouping the investment they made.
The biggest "if" is whether Scocco will be able to adapt quickly to Sunderland. But given their need of immediate success, pressure is expected to be high, so the English club will need to ensure the striker is happy and confident to succeed in order to avoid the problems he had at Internacional. However, the presence of other Argentine players in the squad as well as manager Gus Poyet should help him adapt to his new club quicker.
Scocco also still hopes to make it into the Argentine World Cup squad, and playing in the Premier League might give him the motivation he needs to try to achieve that goal.
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