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How Tottenham’s new transfer target is more Suarez than Borini

| 21.07.2014

Back in July 2012 AS Roma signed Mattia Destro as a direct replacement for the Liverpool-bound Fabio Borini, but after a spell with the Giallorossi that featured plenty of disciplinary problems he’s now looking more like Luis Suarez.

Much like Suarez, the Italian youngster was linked with a move to Barcelona only for the Catalans to seemingly opt for the Uruguayan, leaving Destro to mull over interest from other parties.

Tottenham Hotspur are thought to be leading the way in the pursuit of the Serie A hotshot now though, with Franco Baldini’s ties to Roma giving the Lilywhites the inside track on any deal.

According to initial reports, Spurs could pay as much as €13 million to land the forward but in doing so they must also be wary of the fact Destro is a striker who, like Suarez, has quickly developed a bad reputation for his on and off the field behaviour.

The 23-year-old set the tone early on in his tenure with Roma following a blistering debut against Palermo in November 2012 that featured a yellow card, a goal and another yellow card followed by a slow trudge down the tunnel and an early bath.

Entering the game as a substitute for Francesco Totti, Destro managed just seven minutes on the pitch during which time he was able to demonstrate the various pros and cons of his game. Quick and effective in front of goal but also reckless in the tackle and lacking discipline.

But while this kind of cameo could be forgiven as the excited actions of a young man making his debut for AS Roma, a far more sinister incident in April of the following year on showcased a different, less excusable side to the striker.

Competing for the ball with Cagliari’s Davide Astori, Destro struck the defender in the face before going to ground, pretending he was the injured party.

Missed by the referee at the time who opted instead to book Astori, video replays showed the incident in all its glory, with the 23-year-old earning a four-match ban for his troubles.

The striker’s problems haven’t just been limited to club football either, with rumours suggesting he clashed with Cesare Prandelli after the Azzurri boss opted to exclude him from Italy’s squad for the World Cup.

Though dismissed by the striker at the time, the story goes that Destro refused to be named on a stand-by list for the tournament, something that could have seen him called up following Riccardo Montolivo’s injury.

Destro has some way to go until he matches the disciplinary problems of Suarez, but should Tottenham take a chance on the Italian then expect to see fireworks next term – both good and bad.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.