Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal are all expected to bid farewell to long-standing central-defenders this summer and the Premier League trio could do a lot worse than give Parma’s former Liverpool man Gabriel Paletta the once over.
Nemanja Vidic has already agreed to swap Old Trafford for Inter, while Joleon Lescott almost left City in January and Thomas Vermaelen is getting little closer to the first team in north London.
As such all three sides could have a vacancy within their squads for an assured central defender and Paletta’s form this season suggests he fits the bill in no uncertain terms.
Liverpool snapped up the 28-year-old from Banfield in Argentina after he won the Under-20 World Cup with Argentina in 2005, but he failed to nail down a place during a solitary season at Anfield.
After just eight games in a Red shirt he was offloaded to Boca Juniors, from whom his current employers signed him on the back of some increasingly authoritative showings in 2009/10.
Parma have yet to lose a game he’s started this term, with six of his 11 appearances from the off after returning from an Achilles injury resulting in clean sheets for the Gialloblu.
Roberto Donadoni’s side are playing their way into Europa League contention on the back of a 17-match unbeaten run which stretches back until 10 November 2013, the last time they clashed with Juventus.
The Old Lady lie in wait for Paletta and friends in their mid-week Serie A clash and Parma will need him at his very best if they are to deny their hosts a victory at the Juventus Stadium, a mission they are 2/1 to accomplish.
His sensational form for his club led to the Argentina-born centre-half being given an international call-up by notorious naturalisers Italy, for whom he shone on debut in a 1-0 defeat to reigning World and European champions Spain.
Such was the stature of the performance that many judges believe he may have played his way into the Azzurri’s World Cup plans, not bad for a man whose season started in late November.