Parma still in pursuit of a new striker

Just over a month ago Parma President Tommaso Ghirardi announced to Corriere dello Sport that he was in no rush to sign another striker as the transfer market was open until the end of August. With 13 days to go before the window closes until January, the Gialloblu haven’t signed a forward despite continual links with last season’s loan saviour Amauri and others including Sergio Floccari and Rolando Bianchi.
Ghirardi commented on both Amauri and Floccari at the time saying “Amauri? When there is the possibility to dream of having a great player like him, hope is always there until the end” adding “Even Floccari is a strong player and would add to the value of our squad, but it is not an immediate necessity to sign a striker. We are calm.”
A cursory glance at Parma’s squad and one would think a striker wasn’t required as the Ennio Tardini outfit currently have seven forwards to choose from. However, delve a little deeper and it becomes apparent why Parma appear to still be in the hunt for another frontman, this despite signing four already this summer while Valeri Bojinov moved out to join Sporting Lisbon.
Fabio Borini was first to arrive in Emilia-Romagna after the Parmigiani snapped him up from Chelsea just days after helping Swansea reach the Premier League. Jonathan Biabiany followed him, coming back from Inter to the club he had left just 12 months earlier, and Graziano Pellè joined soon after from AZ Alkmaar. The Gialloblu have also added 19-year-old Nicola Sansone to the ranks after his release from Bayern Munich’s recently relegated reserve side.
Hernan Crespo was the Ducali’s top scorer last season with nine goals, followed by Amauri and Sebastian Giovinco with seven each and Parma’s remaining striker, Raffaele Palladino, scored just three, the same as defender Cristian Zaccardo, while the Crociati mustered only 39 all season in the league. The new signings weren’t exactly prolific either.
With Crespo now 36, another goal-getter appears to be required at the Stadio Ennio Tardini. The Argentine scored six of his nine league goals before January, perhaps running out of steam towards the end of the campaign, making Amauri’s seven goals in 11 appearances in the second half of the season doubly crucial in Parma’s survival bid.
The Brazilian-Italian was undoubtedly a revelation, performing for the Gialloblu of Parma in a way that he hadn’t for the Bianconeri of Juventus during his entire two-and-a-half year stint in Turin. Almost unrecognisable, Amauri looked like the centre forward of old at Palermo. In some ways, however, his brilliant spell with Parma has no doubt added more to his price tag. Indeed, Ghirardi has said as much “The situation is difficult as his fee is very high and we cannot live with that distress.”
Whether or not Parma move to meet that price tag or look elsewhere will be known by midnight on August 31. Coach Franco Colomba managed to find the formula for keeping clean sheets after taking over at the club in April; he now has to discover a way to increase potency at the other end of the pitch to ensure Parma are not fighting relegation again. Quite where an eighth striker would fit in to Colomba’s favoured 4-4-2 system is another matter, but assembling a squad capable of scoring goals should remain a priority.

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