Premier League Move Would Be Andrea Pirlo's First and Final Mistake

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Premier League Move Would Be Andrea Pirlo's First and Final Mistake
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Think majesty, think Andrea Pirlo.

The Italian international is in the twilight of his career, and despite his status as an iconic figure in Italian football, some are suggesting he may look to end his career in the English Premier League.

The Daily Star, among others, believe Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea would all fight it out for the midfield maestro, but moving to England would be the man's first and final mistake.

It's difficult to believe he'd make the error given his career history is littered with good decisions—be it swapping Milan teams or joining Juventus at just the right time—but the overtures of England's top tier have fooled many in the past.

Pirlo's contract is up at the end of the the 2013-14 season, and he is set to retire from international duty after Italy's 2014 FIFA World Cup duty in Brazil.

The aforementioned report suggests Juventus manager Antonio Conte has a tough decision to make regarding whether or not to extend the 34-year-old's stay, and the immense strength in depth in Turin clouds the issue further.

Paul Pogba set his stall out in Manchester, making it clear that Sir Alex Ferguson either plays him, or he leaves. The latter happened, and the progress the Frenchman has made at the Old Lady is beyond astonishing.

He will be the priority of sorts, while Arturo Vidal—arguably the Bianconeri's best player—is a cornerstone in the XI. Claudio Marchisio, a Juventino born and bred, is adored at the Juventus Stadium and stayed with the club despite being relegated to Serie B—can you see Beppe Marrotta sanctioning his sale?

Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Pogba: the cause of much dilemma

Add the rumours of Conte targeting Xabi Alonso, relayed by Marca, and you've got yourself quite the dilemma.

Juventus see Pirlo for what he is: a player who is fantastic but just past his peak and unable to command a first XI selection for much longer given Pogba's growth.

There was a time—this time last year, perhaps—when Conte would rue the lack of Pirlo should he not take to the field. That's no longer the case, and the decision not to renew the Italian's contract is entirely justifiable.

Should Pirlo not extend his trophy-laden stay in Turin, there is no top club in the country that can commit to building around a 34-year-old man. Pirlo plays a position that demands others react to, and that could well see him fail to land at another prime Serie A club.

Premier League clubs should take the same mantra other top Italians will: Why build, change and adapt to a short-term option? That's no disrespect to Pirlo—what a delight he is to watch—but he's a risk to the fabric of your club, and would he cope with the climate change of England's top tier?

Perhaps the fairytale landing spot, aside from Major League Soccer, is Brescia (should they get promoted). He spent three years with the club before making the move to Milan, and the chance to help establish them in Serie A may be too romantic to pass up—but it's an if.

Premier League sides be warned, resist the temptation of shelling out for il professore.

 

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