The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Inter-Bound Dani Osvaldo


Saints fans – the day finally approaches. Miscreant striker Dani Osvaldo is set to leave St. Mary’s after a tumultuous six-month spell at Southampton. The Italian striker arrived last August as Mauricio Pochettino’s third and final summer transfer for a record £12.8m, and quickly lived up to his billing.

As we stand upon the brink of finally saying goodbye to the bad boy from Buenos Aries, let us look back on the good, the bad and the ugly of his Southampton career – and let Inter Milan know exactly what they’re in for.

THE GOOD: ‘That’ goal vs. Manchester City

Osvaldo wraps his foot around a sublime goal against Manchester City

It’s hard to remember that Osvaldo is a talented footballer at times, which is a real, real shame. When he’s on his game, Dani is a killer striker with a venomous instinct. Unfortunately for the Italian, such ability was rarely on show as he struggled to acclimatise to the rigors of the Premier League, and the demands of the lone striker position.

But back in December, Osvaldo finally arrived. Breaking through the Manchester City midfield, the fiery striker diddled City captain Vincent Kompany, not once, but twice, cut back on to his favoured right foot, and whipped a wonder strike past gargantuan goalie Costel Pantillimon. The goal was only his third in Southampton colours, and ultimately proved to be his last. But for all the bad, for all the hard feelings and for all the joy Saints fans will feel when a deal is made official, Osvaldo’s equaliser against Manchester City will always be remembered. Not only was it a stunning individual goal, displaying the technique, skill, persistence and beauty Dani Osvaldo CAN conjure up, it secured a huge point at home against the uncrowned champions of England.

Inter: you’re getting a special footballer indeed.

THE BAD: The Machine Gun

Osvaldo celebrates that wonder goal… uniquely

Picture the scene: you’ve just curled a world class goal past a flailing Pantillimon, bringing your home fans – who have been patiently waiting to see justification for you £13m transfer fee – how do you celebrate? Do you hug those in the front row? Blow a kiss of thanks? Or do you pull out an invisible machine gun and fire wildly in to the crowd?

Yes, that was the goal celebration that Mr. Osvaldo elected to utilize that day. And while some fans will say it was “just a celebration”, Southampton fans know better. It was different, from start to finish. Precise, direct, personal. As soon he began his run toward the advertising boards, something felt up. Not only did Osvaldo machine gun his fan base, almost as if to say “don’t doubt me again”, he continued to stand, arms out-stretched with a smile of self-satisfaction until he had milked the ovation for all it’s nutrition. Needless to say, many fans were raising eyebrows that day, but even more are raising them now. Perhaps his greatest on-field achievement was instantly marred by one of his lowest.

Inter: you’re getting a unique human being.

THE UGLY: The Bust-Up

A training ground incident with Jose Fonte was the final straw

Football fans are fickle. So long as you perform on the pitch, other indiscretions can be forgiven. What’s an invisible machine gun massacre if he can carry on bending shots like those? What’s an erratic interview if he runs his heart out from whistle to whistle?

If Dani Osvaldo had earned the respect of his fan base, then it was all blown away when in late January, the striker was finally ousted from the first team after a training ground incident with defender Jose Fonte. No-one can be sure whether he threw a punch or a headbutt, but the damage was clear and present on Fonte’s face. Dani Osvaldo had burned his final bridge – the first team revolted, demanded he not return to training, and the Italian was duly loaned to Juventus. This will, unfortunately, be the lasting memory for Southampton fans worldwide. The bad boy had finally shown his true colours, and his squad mates (known for their family-esque closeness) were not prepared to accept his apologies. And perhaps even more importantly – neither were the fans.

Inter: good luck.