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Replacement for the replacement

By Papageorgiou Alexis

Debut A defining experience this public ceremony, one that every player
dreams, awake or asleep, from the split second his little feet are introduced to the
round goddess, to the moment the referee blows the whistle to start the game.
Everything he worked so hard for, endless hours of training, bon voyage to friends
and family in summer vacations, missed parties and experiences other teenagers
share in abundance. His whole lifeline comes down to a turn and a half of the clocks
little hand.
This is his time frame, his 15 minutes of fame, his initiation into the football
world. As the curtain rise, the crowd is the truth mirror. At his first touch of the ball,
roar or silence will be heard, and its the first he craves, as he overtakes 3
defenders refashioning them as traffic police, spins to the left, and drives a perfect
curling ball to the top right corner, a promise to the career he is destined for. As the
ball slowly glides down the net to rest in peace, the fans roar culminate, while he
slowly disappears between the bodies of his ecstatic comrades.
This is the dream version of a debut and a rare one indeed, therefor the
reason of this articles existence. Reality is cruel, yet imperative to progress, as the
majority of players often build on an amateurish, indifferent or enjoyable at best
debut, their perfect game, before time inevitable catches up with their body and
abatement initiates the final countdown.
Starting with the right foot, even if you are a lefty, can be the vital spark for a
youngster, essential ingredient to his confidence and self believe grow. Imagine
being 10 thousand kilometers from home and having no idea how to say good
morning in Dutch. Thank god football is a universal language.
Of course it doesnt harm to be standing at 1.88, blessed with a Bolt like
structure. Not exactly 100m Olympics final pace, but still, quick enough to give most
defenders a glimpse of the number 7 on his back, sublime technique, Becks pass
with the inside or outside of the foot, maturity and football brain especial to a 20
year old, and to ice the cake, a rocket launcher placed where his left leg should
have been, Gaston Pereiro introduced himself to the Eredivisie and European
Football.
Trailing 5 points behind their biggest rival and major contender for the title,
PSV came face to face, as they entered the Amsterdam Arena, with a potentially
catastrophic blow that could surely diminish any remaining chance of retaining the
crown they won after 7 years of drought.

Philip Cocu decided that it was time for the new kid on the block, the one he
priced away from National with 7 million euro, to sing in hostile territory. I dont
know if he expected this outcome as the aftermath of his little experiment, or if the
single is part of an album to be released, but he surely wont forget it, and neither
Depays replacement will.
With the hormones on his body pumping like popcorn on a microwave, the
young prospect produced a masterclass, perceiving hell on earth as his backyard, in
a way very few of his predecessors have, bewildered the opposition and by the time
Frank de Boer realized that one vs one wasnt even close to enough, a trail of
destruction designated Gastons heat map. A right foot blast, 7 minutes to his full
debut, after passing 3 red shirts, and a beautiful, textbook executed, left curling
strike in the 79th minute, after enrolling another defender to a sitting class, finished
the job, momentarily transforming 55 thousand people to statues.
In the meantime, the debutant grab the AM role by the horns, acting as a
leader sprinkled with humility modifying grave teammate faces to radiant, with
meaningful moments of magic and a lot of hard defensive work, including a vital
interception inside PSVs own box. On October 4 th, PSV fans were presented with a
reason to celebrate, far more consequential than 3 points on the standings table.
Few weeks after they bid farewell to their two most cherished players, Depay
and Wijnaldum, the young Uruguayan attacking midfielder, could ease their
heartbreak better than a model employed by Victorias Secret. Luckily for PSV, this
choice, never presented itself.
With a price tag of 7 million euro, and performances like the last one, Pereiro
could become a favorite for the bargain of the year award, and PSV can suddenly
face another sweet Depay-like riddle.
Gaston Pereiro looked the real deal in the derby, and probably has come a
long way since his 2012 ten day training session at Liverpool. 2 nd lead scorer with
the National shirt during the last South America Championship, the versatile young
talent has the potential to become the key man for Uruguay and PSV, sooner rather
than later. Assuming, they wont have to find a replacement, for the replacement,
before the end of the season.
Even though he scored the first goal with his week foot, its an aspect of his
game he should improve in order to become even more unpredictable. Pereiro likes
to control the tempo, and as the bond with his teammates and their trust to his
abilities become stronger, PSVs future will look brighter and brighter. He constantly
surges forward, but keeps a cool head when a decision to pick a killing pass or take
the chance on his own, is imminent. A dilemma, that seems to constantly torment
even world class players.

With his size and technique, playing even deeper in hostile territory as a
second striker would pose no problem. Controlling long balls and building the
offence from scratch is simply another arrow in the quiver, a weapon used in several
occasions as the antidote to a raging Ajax. As a traditional number 10, a certain
Kaka came to my mind, while watching him do his thing versus De Boers talented
squad. Not by a mile, but technically inferior, yet stronger than the Brazilian
conductor at his twenties. The timing is perfect as the European door is wide open
for the PSV boys, and some more stellar performances against fiercer opposition
could propel their international stocks.
At the same time, hard work and feet nailed to the ground, gradually
becomes every players unicorn, but the longer he can master it, the bigger and
better quality crop he can harvest.