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The Cassano debate: should he stay or should he go?

This article will have no intro, no structure and will show no tolerance. I'm going to jump straight to the point. Why? Why would you want Cassano out of Milan? "Because he has 4.6 extra kilos" is not a valid answer. I am going to show you how he can be crucial for Milan this season and how letting him leave is pointless unless he is traded for a superior player; but first, let me tell you why comparisons with Ronaldinho are irrelevant.

While I was happy with the fact Ronaldinho left Milan, some of you will remember I wasn't on board with the onslaught of online insults that ensued. Now Cassano is the target of a similar attack, and obesity jokes are quickly becoming more irritating than they are humorous. First of all, the man is as thin as he was at Sampdoria where he made a great contribution. Second, the obvious difference between Ronaldinho and Cassano which makes comparisons groundless is this: Ronaldinho was the player the team had to rely upon to deliver in every game and any fitness problems could not be tolerated - while Cassano is a super-sub. If he can come on and change the game around in 20-30 minutes, what is your problem? He isn't a starter and he wasn't meant to be. He is, however, one of the best impact players you'll find in today's football.

Pato and Ibrahimovic. They will be starters this season unless injuries stop them. That much is clear. Who will be playing behind them is still a mystery, if no reinforcements are bought in this area then Boateng and Robinho are the two choices as things stand, with Cassano (and Robinho?) as substitutes for the three attacking positions. I don't see a problem with this setup. Having a player who can be an effective game-changer in not one but two positions would be a blessing for any group of fans in the world other than us, apparently. Sooner or later we will find ourselves playing with three ruffians in midfield. Would it be so wrong to have a classic number 10 available to be placed in front of them for creative purposes?

The only way I'd support Cassano's departure is as part of a good trade - if he needs to leave in order for somebody like Hamsik or Pastore to arrive, then by all means, go for it. Other than that, I don't see a reason to sell.

I can't help but notice that a lot of fans worldwide are easily swayed by online bloggers with high opinions of themselves who insist on power and work-rate to the point of devaluing skill completely. People seem to forget that, while sacrifice and endless running are to be applauded, there's that other kind of player, you know, the ones that can do things with the ball others simply can't. You can rarely rely on them to be consistent and put in a lot of work off the ball, but sometimes you need them to break the lock.

If Cassano leaves and we find ourselves in a situation where we need to score with 20 minutes to go and young Paloschi is our best bench option, we will collectively curse the day he departed. That's a guarantee.