Toronto Sun sports columnist Kurtis Larson broke an interesting bit of news Wednesday morning with the following tweet:
Club confirms that Daniele Galloppa is on trial with Toronto FC.— Kurtis Larson (@KurtLarSUN) June 17, 2015
30-year old central midfielder Daniele Galloppa most recently plied his trade with Serie A side Parma, a club that has just been relegated due to problems both on and off the field. Parma is in financial ruin, having been penalized points on multiple occasions for their inability to pay wages.
Galloppa has been known for his passing ability and vision of the game, and was even capped for Italy's senior national team on two occasions. The midfielder also played for Italy's u18 through u23 squads, amassing almost 40 appearances for Italy's younger sides.
From 2009 to this past season Galloppa played 75 matches for Parma. While he barely featured in 2014, Galloppa started 8 games and was subbed into 9 others this past year. He is typically fielded in a more withdrawn midfield role, a playmaker from the back a la Benoit Cheyrou as opposed to a goal-scoring companion for Giovinco.
Some sources had Galloppa's annual salary at 0.4 million Euros per year, or roughly $450,000US. Having just turned 30 and likely wanting away from the disaster that Parma has become, Galloppa understands that he'll have to take a pay cut to come to Toronto. A salary on the higher range of non-designated players, in the $200,000 range, sounds about right for a player of his experience.
The question becomes, does TFC need another central midfielder, especially one commanding that kind of salary? Between Michael Bradley, Cheyrou, and (to a lesser extent) Jonathan Osorio, along with a wealth of depth players, central midfield was most definitely not one of the areas where the team was lacking. However, the Gold Cup is looming. With Bradley and Osorio both away on international duty, the team would be looking at (should it keep its diamond midfield shape) the likes of Cheyrou at the bottom, Warner and Creavalle, and Chapman up front. Not exactly hopeless, but definitely not the most daunting combination for opposing teams to face- and with one quick injury, it could all look significantly more grim.
Is Galloppa really worth what looks to be a hefty paycheck? Can the team survive the Gold Cup without extra reinforcements in the middle of the park? Well as hard as it is to find his highlights (commenters feel free to contribute), if he's still got this kind of flexibility I can only imagine what having him and the Atomic Ant on the pitch could potentially produce while our North Americans are out on international duty...