LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Everton Manager David Moyes smiles as Denis Stracqualursi prepares to come on as a substitute during the FA Cup Third Round match between Everton and Tamworth at Goodison Park on January 7, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
For his second blog for RBM Alex Fitzgerald pays tribute to our latest cult hero - Denis Stracqualursi - and says why David Moyes should pursue a permanent deal for the striker in the summer.
Denis Stracqualursi strengthened his chances of making his place in the starting eleven a permanent one by following up on his outstanding effort in the F.A Cup game against Fulham with his unstinting work against Manchester City. So, I find myself asking the question: is he worthy of a permanent contract at the end of his season long loan?Stracqualursi, who scored 21 goals in just 35 appearances (a 60% strike rate) for the Argentine side Tigre in the 2010/11 season, has proven his commitment to the cause is unquestionably admirable. The 24 year old has only played one full season for Tigre and that immediate impact shows his ambition and ability to play at a higher level.
Prior to that he played for his local sports club in the 3rd division of Argentine football from 2007-08, where he was scouted by Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata and played 2nd division football for two seasons, before he got his break in the Argentine top division with his current club Tigre. Denis was joint top goal scorer in his first season at the club, the first ever player to do so for his team.
'Stracq' was praised for his determination by his Everton captain, Phil Neville, who said through Twitter after the Fulham cup match: "Well done Denis on his goal - he's got his rewards for his unbelievable attitude."
'Stracq attack' or ‘El Traca’as he was known by the Tigre fans, was highly rated in his homeland for being a replacement for their much relied upon goal machine Martin Palermo. So when his loan move was officially announced it came as an extreme surprise to many.
The persistent striker was 'hours' away from a move to one of the country’s most prestigious clubs, before the AFA declared the window for transfers shut, giving Everton a chance to pounce.
So, as the expectancy begins to build upon himself and new signing Nikica Jelavic for goals, it perhaps pays to remind us of what Denis said when he spoke to a English newspaper upon signing at Everton:
"I think my style will suit England, players are quite powerful and strong and football is played quite a bit in the air and I'm pretty good in the air"
The 24 year old continued: "I had a pretty good season in terms of goal-scoring in a team which was fighting to stay alive at the highest level and I have never been one to shy away from targets.
"I'll be trying to score as many goals as possible to help Everton have as good a campaign as possible".
The Everton striker then showed his understanding of what’s required of an Everton No. 9 by saying: "It's all about dying for the shirt, sweating for the club, trying really hard to settle in and being physically ready. I have to prove myself to the manager, team-mates and supporters that i can do it at this level in England".
Anyone who questions his passion and commitment or attitude is a brave person. He's up for showing what he can do, and i hope we all allow him the time to see it. We have been crying out for someone with this much passion and will to win, and here, right before us in Denis Stracqualursi we seem to have exactly that and to let go of him at the end of his loan period should be seen as a crime!
One last note of praise for the manager – if Stracq can keep this form up, once again Moyesy will rightly be seen as a master of spotting and nurturing outstanding ability that few others have even noticed!! Let’s just hope a cut-price transfer fee was settled in advance!