Cut-price Pennant appealing amid credit crunch

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There is something worth pointing out with the credit crunch kicking in as the January sales get into full swing.

With the euro now almost on parity with the pound, Italians have been flooding the streets of London in search of a bargain. This time last year they could hardly afford the flight over.

Maybe now the same won’t be said of young Italian footballing talent as the lure of the pound sign diminishes, and  - just as importantly - Serie A will become the must play-in destination for the wandering modern-day footballer.

Well, we can all dream I suppose.

Dossena: Stay back comrades, there's no more money here

Flicking through the sporting press on a snow-bound Milanese morning, one would be forgiven for thinking that 2009 had come to a shuddering halt even before it had really begun.

Why is no one in the café talking about the big-name signings heading to Inter, Juventus and AC Milan?

There, instead, staring out of the front page of Corriere dello Sport is one Jermaine Lloyd Pennant, who the paper helpfully inform their readers is an Anglo-Jamaican who played well for Liverpool in the Champions League final against Milan in 2007.

The Milan transfer chiefs must certainly have a long memory, as few of the calcio-obsessed clientele in Serie Aaaaargh!’s local watering-hole could actually recall any other performance that merited Pennant wearing the red and black jersey next season.

However, Carlo Ancelotti may have seen something the rest of us have missed. Apart from fitting the bill of most Milan signings - he is out of contract and won’t cost a cent – Pennant is lightening quick and relatively young.

Pennant 'playing well' against Milan in Athens

Carlo has smoothed out the edges of many a rough diamond before, including Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf and Daniele Bonera, and the word is that he is going to transform the summer arrival into the new Serginho.

While the recently-retired Brazilian, in his prime, operated the full length of the left flank, Pennant will be asked to perform the same task on the right where the Rossoneri have had problems ever-since Marcos Cafu ran out of steam a few seasons ago.

Maybe this age of impending doom and gloom will see other clubs follow suit and adopt a mix and match attitude rather than going straight for the finished product.

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