Inter Milan centre-back Andrea Ranocchia has joined Premier League strugglers Hull City on loan for the rest of the season. The 28-year old, who was linked with a move to a horde of Premier League clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton, completed the move on the deadline day, as the Tigers attempt to save their season.
Ranocchia, who joined Inter Milan back in 2010, has had to watch the action from the sidelines this season and has hardly featured for the Nerazzurri. The defender has played only 9 games this season, four of which have come in the Europa League and the rest in the Serie A. He last played for the Italians in the first week of December against Sparta Prague which Inter won 2-1.
Hull haven’t had the best of the transfer window having seen two of their best players, Robert Snodgrass and Jake Livermore leave and with captain Curtis Davies facing a long spell on the sidelines due to a recent injury, the move for Ranocchia makes sense. However, another team who could have used the services of the Italian are Tottenham.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are at the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to Hull, giving Chelsea a run for their money for the title. However, a recent spate of injuries has left them slightly short-handed at the back.
Key man Jan Vertonghen, who was an ever-present for Spurs, has been ruled out for a long time while his partner Toby Alderweireld has also had a recent injury scare. The injuries to the Belgian duo meant Kevin Wimmer has had to fill in at the back. However, in the two games that the Austrian started, he was withdrawn at half-time both the times, due to his woeful displays.
Youth talent Cameron Carter-Vickers was also given a chance in the FA Cup game over the weekend, but the defender flattered to deceive, giving away a cheap penalty and looking out of his depth against a lower league opponent.
True that Ranocchia hasn’t played a lot this season and probably is in need of match fitness. But his experience of playing so many years at the topmost level in Italy and having represented the Italian national team on plenty of occasions, the 28-year old could really have helped Tottenham in their title chase. An experienced head, who is also a strong header of the ball and an astute passer, he could have strengthened the defence, especially with Wimmer putting in such ineffective displays in the past two weeks.
With Alderweireld returning to full fitness, the scare might not seem that obvious anymore. But when a team wants to mount a title challenge, having a strong backup is a must. Wimmer and Carter-Vickers are talented, no question, but having a seasoned campaigner in the heart of the defence could have made a world of difference and Tottenham seem to have missed a beat, having failed to capture Ranocchia.