Mario Pasalic and Duvan Zapata of Atalanta BC in a Serie A match

Where's super Mario?

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Mario Pasalic (left) of Atalanta BC celebrates his goal with team-mate Duvan Zapata. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Tim Harrison
Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

With all the ballyhoo out in Baku, it’s been easy to lose sight of the more important things in life.

Such as ‘Whatever happened to Mario Pasalic?’ For those unable to sleep with worry, here’s an update.

Signed in 2014 by Jose Mourinho, the 19-year-old Croatian midfielder had the world at his feet.

“I’m very happy because I am now a Chelsea player,” he said, revealing he modelled his play on Frank Lampard. He added that he was looking forward to starting pre-season training. And that was the last anyone heard.

Like a wandering nomad he appeared in the ranks of Spanish second division side Elche. Then he joined Monaco, then AC Milan, then Spartak Moscow, then Atalanta, where his silky touches and occasional goals (five in 33 appearances) helped the Italian side to finish third behind Juve and Napoli... with a Champions League place!

It was his late header that pipped mighty Milan to the third European spot.

So, hold on. Why isn’t this Chelsea player of five years playing for Chelsea?

If the transfer ban is enforced, and it almost certainly will be, we need him back. And what about Tammy Abraham, the 9ft 7in spindly striker who has just got JT’s Villa back to the top flight?

Or Mason Mount, who nearly made promotion for Derby? Time to locate the club’s on-loan talent list, and start ringing round.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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