Sandro the destructive to Spurs?
Sandro. The missing piece of the jigsaw. Although if I'm completely honest, I'm basing that on what I think is the missing piece rather than the type of player Sandro actually is. I can't really offer anything in the way of personal 'I swear on my life' insight into what type of player the young Brazilian is. Sure, I can quote you from a tabloid transfer article or perhaps what a regular on the Glory Glory forum thinks, but I've never actually seen the bloke play. Youtube/online streaming video footage doesn't count, mainly because it has a habit of mis-interpretation.
I remember salivating at ridiculous 30 yard goals from impossible angles (Rebrov) and tricky instinctive box work (Postiga) only to be left crying despondently with regret later. My only 'experience' of Sandro is from signing him for Spurs side in my current FM2010 save game and using him as back-up for Wilson Palacios - sometimes even partnering him in the middle for a difficult away game. Based on a computer game, Sandro is strong and although defensive, has plenty of attacking qualities and an eye for scoring from distance (although this may be thanks to an in-game mis-representaiton/bug where far too many goals are scored from long range).
So, who is Sandro exactly? Can he hit the ground running if he turns out in Lilywhite come January, or will he require a season or so of 'bedding in' to settle into the tempo of the EPL? Or perhaps he is confident and adaptable and wont struggle as long as he joins a side that's in form. If we are performing, it will be far easier for him to get to grips with midfield tussles.
All I have to go on is a gut feeling at the moment. Which is risky. So I can only think our scouts have seen enough of this lad to warrant him a worthy acquisition. Rather than a superfluous (there's that word again) one. The last time we signed a DM, it was Wilson. And although Wilson appears to have suffered a little with form in recent months - there's no doubt he will recapture the type of discipline he possessed at the back end of last season. So bringing in a young understudy has to be the answer. Jamie O'Hara obviously is not. Bostock is possibly a couple of seasons away from breaking into the first team (and he's a little more offensive). Jenas is Jenas, bless his little cotton socks.
Sandro, still the missing piece of the jigsaw? What does he do exactly? Based on what others say:
He's comfortable on the ball
He works hard
Has box to box qualities
Aggressive in the tackle
Has leadership qualities
Not overly creative (could improve)
Decent in a holding role
Doesn't sound shabby. There's a Willie Gannon article on Sandro that includes such statements as:
'holding midfielder - his primary role for Inter where he has been destructive'
'initiates his team’s many attacks with his penetrating runs through midfield'
'simplistic style /rarely gives the ball away'
Again, doesn't sound too shabby at all. But once more, these are opinions which you may or may not trust as they are words of others rather than something you've witnessed with your own eyes. But leaps of faith is what we take with imported players. And Sandro, Brazilian U20 captain (I think), does appear to have some substance to the hype.
As far as the centre of the park is concerned, he appears to offer more dimensions to his play than our other current options. The key quality being leadership. I might look him up on Youtube. After being burnt by the Rebrov and Postiga collections the last time I dared venture was to see clips of a certain Bulgarian. So perhaps the internet doesn't always lie.
I do like his attitude in print. To quote the man: "I don't want to speak too much about this but I am ready to move to Europe. I am convinced my style will suit a team that favours an attacking approach."
He seems confident of his abilities. And the Internacional fans also seem to like him where it matters most, on the pitch and on the terraces:
"Sandro scores the goals, Sandro scores the goals, Sandro scores the goals, so we will give him a cow, and he will milk it"
We might need to re-work that for the Park Lane. Don't ask me about the cow. I haven't got a clue.
So for now, we wait. The press are making various assumptions about price (ranging from £6M to the original/traditional £16M figure). There's the issue rights/ownership, which if you remember ruined our chances of signing Diego several years ago. His club claim he's not leaving, then we read about how the deal is progressing. Sit back, and hold onto your hats.