Pablo Osvaldo – worth the risk for Juventus?

It is a relatively fitting stereotype to state that Latin players can be more passionate, argumentative and volatile than most, yet they also make some of the most gifted and ingenious performers on a football pitch.

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Diego Maradona and Diego Simeone from the country of his birth, Pablo Osvaldo is something of an extrovert character; talented, but decidedly flawed.

The Italy international has recently been hounded out of Southampton six months after a £12.8 million move to St Mary’s in the summer. The tempestuous forward will spend the rest of the campaign on loan with Serie A champions Juventus, with his future in the longer term undetermined.

Osvaldo’s time with Mauricio Pochettino’s men came to an early end. The international forward’s signing was treated with excitement from the St Mary’s faithful, with the player arriving with a considerable reputation and solid standing in the game.

However, in an all-too familiar scene, Osvaldo came to blows with team-mate José Fonte in training and is believed to have head-butted the defender. He was suspended by the club as a result and has since been farmed out on loan, unlikely to ever play for Southampton again.

Saints fans witnessed the best and the worst of Osvaldo in his fleeting time with the club. Although taking time to settle in at St Mary’s, the forward scored three Premier League goals in 13 appearances, the pick of which was a sublime individual effort in a 1-1 home draw against Manchester City.

However, with Osvaldo controversy is never too far away, and he was banned for three matches and fined £40,000 for his part in a touchline fracas against Newcastle back in December.

Two acts of violent conduct in the space of six months have convinced Southampton to part company with their big-name summer signing. They may also give an insight into why Roma were ready to dispense with an Italy international and their top goalscorer from the season before so readily.

Pablo OsvaldoOsvaldo’s impetuous and undisciplined nature was also on show at the Stadio Olimpico, with the Serie A side suspending him for violent conduct too.

After being frustrated with Erik Lamela during a defeat to Udinese in November 2011, Osvaldo punched the now-Tottenham man in the face and was given a period of leave from the club.

Given the darker side of Osvaldo’s personality, should Juventus take a chance on him?

Initially a loan move seems fitting, as i Bianconeri have a chance to test the waters with Osvaldo. The player is obviously gifted and could well be a revelation if given a consistent run of games, but also has the potential to be a thorn in Antonio Conte’s side given his considerable ego.

With the likes of Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente, Mirko Vučinić, Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella in the Juve squad, Osvaldo may well find that first-team opportunities are hard to come by and could get frustrated as a result.

His ability to get along with someone like Tevez could be a critical factor in any potential move. The former Manchester City forward is the Serie A leaders’ top goalscorer and main man at the moment, which Osvaldo has been used to being at other sides.

Whether these two Argentine-born attackers can play nice and get along remains to be seen, as it appears that fireworks could just as easily be on the cards.

Osvaldo has the ability to play international football and there is no doubt that if his head is in the right place he can be an incredible asset.

His next club, whether it is Juventus or someone else, will need to weigh this up against his questionable temperament to see if this flawed genius is worth the gamble.

By
I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo, goal.com, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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