Wasted

Can this really be happening? Mauro Zárate was included, initially, in the starting lineup for Vélez’s side against River in the last round of the Clausura tonight. At the last minute, he was taken out of it, replaced by Darío Ocampo, and a somewhat unexpected story has followed. Zárate – at 19, one of the hottest attacking talents on Argentina’s conveyer belt at the moment – claims he’s on the verge of signing a contract with a foreign club. Nothing odd there, you may be thinking. Let me finish: A club in Qatar. Al Sadd, Qatari champions in three of the last four years, seem set to sign Zárate, after which he seriously expects Europe’s big clubs to still be interested. His brother will be playing with a different team in the same city. Madness? Indicative of a change in Qatari transfer policy (which has previously seen only outgoing ageing stars joining their clubs)? Career suicide? We shall see…

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