Could the Italian legend still be effective in England?
With speculation continuing to suggest that Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo could be on his way to the Premier League next summer as reported by Eurosport, there are sceptics who would argue that such a move would result in a disappointing end to his career.
The Italian international is set to see his current deal with the Turin giants expire in June, and with talks being delayed until next year it is uncertain as to whether or not he will remain in Italy.
The 34-year-old is undoubtedly one of the finest midfielders to ever grace the game, but considering his advanced years, would he be such a success in a more fast-paced and frenetic environment?
While the Premier League obsession to bring all the top names and finest players to England explains why the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham have been credited with an interest, for the man nicknamed ‘l’architetto’, it could spell disaster.
Perhaps a move to Chelsea with Carlo Ancelotti in 2009 would have been the ideal time to venture outside of the Italian borders for a European experience, but years on this isn’t the same Pirlo.
The World Cup winner still possesses both the vision and ability to pick out team-mates with passes that others are unable to even see, but his stamina and fitness levels are questionable.
When Antonio Conte arrived as the new coach of the Bianconeri in 2011, his objective was straight-forward. With no European football as a distraction, Juve were entirely focused on Serie A and Pirlo would have an entire week to rest between games.
The pair went on to lift the Scudetto without losing a single game, and repeated their achievement last year although there were early warning signs that perhaps the midfield metronome wouldn’t be able to maintain his brilliance throughout an entire year.
With Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal lightening the load, there is no question that Pirlo is still captivating to watch. However, in a new environment with little time to rest and collect his thoughts combined with incessant harassing on the ball, a move to England has perhaps come too late.
Inter Milan are reportedly interested as they benefit from the Erick Thohir takeover this week, while Clarence Seedorf and Alessandro Del Piero will support options outside of Europe.
Regardless of the decision Pirlo takes he will forever be remembered in the history of the beautiful game, but it may not be such a beautiful ending to the story were he to choose England.