Nearly ten days ago, Zenit St. Petersburg began negotiations with Italian side Torino about the transfer of their captain, midfielder Alessandro Rosina. With Torino's relegation from Serie A, it was unlikely Rosina would remain for another season.
Now, the diminutive playmaker has agreed to a four-year contract with Zenit, worth €8 million in total.
Ever since Andrei Arshavin departed for the Emirates, Zenit has badly needed an attacking winger that shares the same flair and creativity that Arshavin brought to the pitch. Portuguese midfielder Danny tried his best, but honestly he has never been the same player as Arshavin.
With Danny now out until 2010, the need for an adept midfielder with a scoring touch has been amplified even further.
Hopefully Rosina, or Rosinaldo, can bring back a similar element.
"Competing for European honors is very important to me and I am looking forward to living in such a beautiful city. Despite interest from a number of other clubs, Zenit expressed a great deal of faith in me and that gives me great confidence ahead of the move. I am a happy man," said Rosina.
The staff obviously listened to manager Dick Advocaat's words after the draw against Rubin Kazan on Saturday. Advocaat was asked if he felt the team needed new players.
"We play excellent defense, more than excellent in the midfield, while we have problems in attack. Four months ago, I said we need a new forward. I hope somebody at the board will hear these words. We need two or three players, better three."
So far, two players have came to St. Petersburg. First was Belarusian striker Sergei Kornilenko, and now Rosina. Will these two be enough to solve the offensive woes? Only time will tell.
Alessandro Rosina Information
- Age: 25 years old
- Height: 1.68m (5'6")
- Position: Attacking midfielder/winger
- Nationality: Italy
- Former Clubs: Parma, Verona, Torino
- Scored 31 goals in 120 appearances for Torino since 2005.
The left-footed playmaker will arrive in St. Petersburg in one day.
Rosina was a driving force for Torino during his duration with the club, and will look to bring the same style of play to the Russian giants.
Rosinaldo and Kornilenko will both join Zenit in practice. Kornilenko has looked effective in training over the past week, and will most likely be ready if needed to play on Sunday against Saturn Moscow. Rosina however, has not played in some time and may need one to two weeks of preparation before taking the pitch.
Zenit forward Pavel Pogrebnyak was also scouted in person by Blackburn Rovers' boss Sam Allardyce over the weekend, but today he was offered a new contract by Zenit that would make him one of the highest payed players in the Russian Premier League.
With the injuries to Turkish striker Fatih Tekke and his interest in moving back to Turkey, signing Pogrebnyak is a major priority.