First of all I must warn you that I am one of the few Lazio fans who was IN FAVOR of selling Zarate! This will serve as a disclaimer in order for the reader to not have dilemma concerning my stance over the matter while reading this piece. Furthermore, in order to articulate my opinion in a more accurate and organized way, I will divide this article in 2-3 sub-headers.
I. Why was I in favor of Zarate`s sale?
It goes without saying that Mauro Zarate is one hell of a talented player. He proved it in his first season with us which forced Claudio Lotito to make his biggest investment for a single player ever since he became Lazio president. We all know how much did he cost the team and he became by far our highest earning player back then (while he was earning 2 mil per season, the others were below 1 mil per season).
However, little did we know that this expensive and likable Argie will have miserable next 2 seasons!
Zarate is a player who likes to keep the ball in his feet as long as possible! He would often forget in the process that football is a collective game and you have to share the ball with other team mates. It became his habit that once he would received the ball in somewhere in opponents half, he would start dribbling around to ultimately have several defenders around him which resulted in the player losing the ball cheaply. I became too frustrated with him. I hate selfishness overall and in football in particular. At one moment, my frustration grew to the point that I wished Zarate would not get the ball at all, as it would result with the end of Lazio`s offensive play!
By being selfish you not only lose the ball wasting perhaps a lot of efforts by other team mates to recover it, but also you risk being dislikes by your colleagues as they expect the ball to be passed and not lost in such ways.
Despite his selfishness, there are two more factors that frustrated me concerning Zarate: his shots and his lack of tactical obedience of the game. Lately it was so rare for Zarate to fire a shot which would end up in the goal or at least close to it! He like lost his touch for the ball.
I remember in late 2009 when I attended Lazio-Blogna.Our coach was Ballardini. As the match itself was boring and slow, I often looked for other things happening during the match and the thing which stroke me most was Ballardini yelling at Zarate to chase opponent players after he would lose the ball. At one point, the coach nearly went into the stadium and grabbed the player by his neck. Zarate`s off -ball game is horrible and I think all of us agree on this one. For this reason, I prefer even Giusepe Sculli over him, whose work rate on the left flank at 4-2-3-1 is nothing short of amazing.
II. What does Lazio gain by selling/loaning out Zarate?
This is simple: Being the highest paid player in the team, it does not make sense for the team to bench it`s most expensive piece. Also, it is no secret that Edy Reja does not like him, nor did he have on in his plans for his Lazio side.If Zarate stayed, there was a genuine danger of a turmoil in the dressing room. Why risk that ?
Economically, by getting rid of Zarate for this season, Lazio will save over 9 million Euros alone. This is how:
Zarate`s salary: 4 million Euros (before tax)
Lazio receiving from the loan: 2,7 million Euros
Commissions: 3 million Euro
Total: 9,7 million EUROS
Moreover, if Inter exercise their option to permanently sign Zarate next summer, Lazio will have another 15,5 million Euros to splash for a player. Add to this the 9,7 mil Euros saved from this season, the overall deal would save/earn Lazio 25,2 mil Euros!
Now, tell me this is bad business please?
III. What does Zarate gain by leaving Lazio?
While Maurito managed to retain the passion of (the majority) Lazio fans, he apparently lost the respect and likeness of his fellow team mates. There were some inside rumors in some Italian speaking fora yesterday that the likes of Rocchi, Brocchi, Mauri and possibly other players got sick of his selfishness and ego and wanted him out of the team.
That Zarate has a strange carachter I could testify my self: during the said match which I attended (Lazio-Bologna) I had the chance to go to media room after the match I saw all Lazio players leaving Olimpico. Only Zarate would leave through another special exit from the tunnel in order not to be disturbed by people (fans??)
So, when you are not wanted by your coach and other most important players in your team, it is better to leave.
In terms of football, Zarate will have a chance to work in another club with established players and prove his coach and Lazio management that they made a huge mistake by letting him go.