The battle of the “Ants”. Mirco Antenucci left the club in the summer with a divided view although he isn’t stand-out in terms of players who have departed the club in recent times, far from it. Marcus Antonsson replaced the Italian for £1.6 million and we’re still working out the Swede.
Mirco Antenucci arrived from Italy as an unknown but did make an impression early on. His first goal arrived to seal a win at Bournemouth and he kicked in. In all honesty without his goals that season we would have been relegated, along with Alex Mowatt. The sad thing is that between them they only managed 20 goals. Expectations were low and Antenucci just about stood out in a very poor team.
Last season saw him start from the bench, Chris Wood and Souley Doukara in front of him under Rosler and Evans. Again he got a few important goals but his return wasn’t great for a striker. When he did get the starts he often failed to impress and when we played one striker he simply didn’t suit the role in any way. Marcus Antonsson has fallen foul of the system again but has, like Mirco, shown glimpses of potential.
The difference between Antonsson and Antenucci is the attitude and investment. Marcus Antonsson seems down to Earth and humble, where Antenucci clearly felt he had a right to start in the side, no matter his performance. Antonsson has arrived on a 3/4 year contract for £2 million with add-ons, a player who the club clearly think is as much long-term than for a season or two, the clear objective of the Antenucci signing. Antonsson has time to develop and the right attitude to do it.
Overall it’s hard to really criticise Antenucci because he filled a gap that we needed filling and he was effectively a player to keep us ticking over rather than moving forwards. Deep down I like what Antonsson’s about but he needs time to mould into this league and Garry Monks ways, and I do believe he will make the grade.
Verdict – Marcus Antonsson (based on potential)