You know in that scene from The Office when David Brent lists all the places he could go to after leaving Slough (most of which are in Berkshire, but a few were cross-border - yuck!)? Yeah? That’s like this whole George Puscas saga.
This summer Puski’s been linked with Bari, Cadiz, Cagliari, Como, FC Copenhagen, Pisa, Parma, Rapid Bucuresti, Rayo Vallecano and Sampdoria... and now finally ended up at Genoa. They’ve snapped him up on a season-long loan deal and are reportedly obliged to buy him outright next summer for €3 million (around £2.5 million) if they’re promoted to Serie A.
Look, like everyone else, when he went on the rampage against Cardiff City in 2019 I roundly thought “here’s a player”. Signed for £7 million from Inter Milan (the premium team in Milan), he arrived as what MLS teams call “a marquee signing”. Full of vitality, sparkle and pizzazz, the Romanian rarely repeated the heights of that scorching August afternoon.
Of course, Wigan Athletic away will live long in the memory (five-minute hat trick, anyone?) but other than that, 17 goals in 84 appearances isn’t world-beating, especially for the money. Will he go down as one of the greatest flips of all time? That’s harsh.
He’s become a scapegoat in recent times for terrible financial mismanagement and that, to be be blunt, isn’t his fault. The move he now seals has been protracted, rumour-filled and ultimately is a symptom of how and when this club has done its business over recent years.
Can he do a job still? Of course. Listen, he’s a good bloke. Having met him a few times he’s come across quite shy but also like a chap who’s wondered how he’s ended up here. That’s my take on him. Moving to Italy will suit him and his style of play. He never really got to grips with the physicality of the Championship, he never got a decent run under a consistent manager and was never deployed in a system that suited him.
Moving to Genoa may or may not be a good move for him. For us, of course it opens a lot of doors. Naby Sarr should finally be registered, we free up the wage bill that Mark Bowen discussed a few weeks ago at the Fans Forum and we could possibly bring in another loanee.
Without sounding tinpot, I hope it works out for him. He gave it the best shot he could in some of the worst Reading teams I’ve seen. Ultimately, he’s an international-class striker that should never have moved to Berkshire.
Good luck George.