Inter Milan Brazilian right-wingback Maicon has been carving up Serie A defences since arriving at the San Siro in 2006. Back in 2009-10, Maicon was considered the best right-back in football.
Now, he is not even the best Brazilian right-back. Although he is still an outstanding player, Barcelona's Dani Alves has surpassed him by some distance in the last year.
For this reason, and five others, the Nerazzurri should sell Maicon this summer.
Money has quickly become one of the biggest factors in world football. Most notably, PSG and Manchester City have come into what is often described as "unlimited capital."
In February, Goal.com analyzed the "matchday revenue" of the top clubs from Italy, England, Germany and Spain. What they found was that Italian clubs had by far the lowest percentage of total revenue coming from ticket sales.
As a result, some Italian clubs were losing €100 Million a year. The biggest clubs in Europe—including the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich—all had their matchday revenue account for at least 20 percent of their total revenue. But Inter did not.
The club is in need of capital, and with Real Madrid reportedly showing interest in Maicon, they could decide to move the Brazilian in order to add to their decimated bank account.
The arrival of Gian Piero Gasperini made one thing crystal clear at Inter—they were switching formations. Gasperini's desire to play a 3-4-3 formation leaves Maicon out of position if and when selected.
The Brazilian is naturally an attacking wing-back with average defensive abilities. At times, Maicon can look a bit shaky at the back. Case in point, last season he was torn to shreds by Tottenham's Gareth Bale in the group stages of the Champions League.
Maicon did not feature in the Nerazzurri's Super Cup loss to bitter rivals AC Milan. At this point, it would be somewhat of a shock if he was not sold in the summer transfer window.
Maicon, a 30-year-old defender, is not getting any younger. Realistically, his best days are behind him, but he can still be a very good player for many teams out there.
The best fit for the Brazilian has to be Real Madrid. If Maicon was to transfer to Los Blancos, it would allow Sergio Ramos to make the switch to centre-back.
Also, this would allow Pepe to play in defensive midfield, a position that suited him very well last season.
Last season was by no means a great one for Maicon. In fact, it was probably the Brazilian international's worst season to date at Inter.
After an absolutely brilliant campaign in 2009-10 that saw Maicon be named the Samba d'Or—an award given to the best Brazilian footballer in Europe—Maicon struggled to find the same form in 2010-11.
After playing in 51 games, scoring seven goals and recording 15 assists in 2009-10, Maicon's number fell to 38 games with only one goal and eight assists.
Nonetheless, Inter cannot afford to pass up the chance to sell their right-back if the opportunity presents itself.
With Maicon's chances of departure seeming more and more likely, Inter's vast amount of young talented defenders are ready to replace the Brazilian.
The likes of Davide Santon, Andrea Ranocchia, Luca Caldirola, Marco Davide Faraoni and Felice Natalino are keen on getting a chance to show their prowess.
If Maicon is not sold this summer, the development of Inter's young defensive stars may be hindered. Their quality justifies that they must get their chance to fight for first-team football.