When Diego Forlan left Manchester United it seemed as though he was doomed for a few more barren years in European football before heading back to South America. Few would have predicted an immediate meteoric rise as he went on to win La Liga’s Pichichi trophy the following season with Villarreal and again soon after when at Atletico Madrid. He eventually found his way to Inter but after a difficult first year he looks set to leave the San Siro, but why is there such limited interest from the Premier League.
Consistent performances over the past years culminated in being elected the best player at the 2010 World Cup before lifting the Copa America with Uruguay the following year, netting two goals in the final as his country became the most successful in South American international football. It earned him a prestigious move to Inter but after one difficult season in Milan, he seems to have become a forgotten man to the rest of Europe.
Forlan struggled for playing time at Inter, making just 14 starts in the whole of his debut season and spending more time than he would of liked in the treatment room. When in the team his performances were frequently below standard as the pivotal role of Wesley Sneijder meant he could not operate in his favourite position just off the striker. He now seems destined for the exit but interest has been sparse, with Internacional showing the greatest desire to sign him as rumours of an AC Milan transfer continue to linger.
His pedigree as a consistent performer could arguably seem him play a part for the majority of Premier League clubs. Let us not forget that indeed the whole Inter squad underachieved last season, the Uruguayan’s shortcomings were by no means isolated. Hence the reason that Nerazzurri coach Andrea Stramaccioni is having a clear out at the San Siro this summer.
A dead-ball specialist, Forlan can repeatedly fire in accurate crosses and create countless opportunities with him immense technique and craft. He is a classy, well-respected professional who continues to flourish alongside some of the most exciting talents at international level in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. If he returned to the Premier League, he would doubtless be more determined to succeed than ever.
Fans are crying out for technically gifted footballers that can play a solid passing game and that is what Forlan can offer. Tottenham Hotspur have had a long-running interest in the forward and with the opening of the summer transfer window, rumours are bountiful again. The recent appointment of Andre Villas-Boas however may mean that Forlan is no longer considered as a desired acquisition due to his age.
One potential stumbling block for a transfer to the Premier League could be that, despite being 33-years-old, he will still want to earn a hefty weekly salary. Regular football will also be demanded and failure to offer that could see performances of a similar nature to those at the San Siro. Yet with just one year left on his contract in Milan he will come for a cheap fee.
It could well be a gamble worth taking. Forlan may have struggled at Inter but his best days are by no means behind him. English clubs would miss out sorely should they fail to make contact for the Uruguayan striker. Forlan is an experienced, refined footballer who could still contribute in one of the best leagues in the world and it is baffling that clubs are not fighting furiously for his signature.