Replacing A Legend: Boca’s Titanic Problem

The title may be some poor word play on the nickname of the Boca Juniors legend, but Martin Palermo, ‘el titan’ is no more.

No, he’s not dead, but he has retired after a career full of barely credible ups and monstrous downs.

However lumbering and immobile he’d become towards the end of his career, he’d still provide the goods for Boca, and in replacing him, Julio Cesar Falcioni has the hardest task of his reign thus far.

Palermo in his Superman cape
It’s the Argentine equivalent of trying to replace Alan Shearer at Newcastle, it’s not just the value the player adds on the pitch, but the idol value that he represents off it.

They called him San Martín, literally Saint Martin. That’s the sort of player that they’re replacing.

It seemed like striker Lucas Pratto could replace him. A similar sort of player and owned by Boca, they had loaned him to Universidad Catolica in Chile with a $2miliion buyout clause. Boca expected him to return, but UC bought him outright, only to sell him to Italian side Genoa just days later.

‘Eternally thank you’ – A tribute to Palermo
With the relegation of River Plate, and the Copa America being hosted in Argentina, the search for the titan’s replacement is actually getting little press coverage at the moment, despite a usually enormous press bias towards the xeneize.

So to beat them to it, here’s a list of possible replacements:

Silvio Romero: a young striker with Lanús, he’s starting getting goals with regularity for a good side.

Facundo Ferreyra: ‘Chuky’ is another player who has started getting goals. A finisher but nothing like the same build as Palermo, he’d be a long-term choice.

Denis Stracqualursi: A lanky player who just scores goals. Once offered to Brighton & Hove Albion but currently at Tigre. Nobody scored more than him in Argentina in 10/11 and his club couldn’t refuse any sizeable bid.

Alejandro Martinuccio: The Peñarol player caught the eye in their run to the Copa Libertadores final. He isn’t a like-for-like replacement but is a player that is supposed to be attracting Boca’s interest. Problem will be if rumoured Brazillian interest comes to fruition, where the money will talk. Fluminense linked.

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About Ed Malyon

Freelance sport and betting journalist. Specialises in Argieball, Eurostuff, and Quicket.
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