For the first 24 games of the 2015 season, striker Mirco Antenucci was a stable presence at the front of a solid Leeds United attack.
The Italian had eight goals over those first 24 games in what appeared at the time to be the makings of a solid season for the Whites.
Despite the early success, in the latter half of the season, Antenucci failed to feature, playing in just 15 games and only scoring twice — once again Blackpool and Fulham. Antenucci would end the campaign with 10 goals and two assists in 36 Sky Bet Championship appearances.
In the next season, the striker managed nine goals and five assists before being sent to Serie B side Societa Polisportiva Ars et Labor, or SPAL on a free transfer. That side — thanks in part to Antenucci and his 19 goals and seven assists this season — has earned promotion to Serie A for the first time in 49 years. Last year, the Spallini earned promotion from Lega Pro.
⚪️ La @spalferrara di Mirco #Antenucci e Kevin #Bonifazi è in Serie A!!! #TERSPA #Spal pic.twitter.com/M2tZQmS6v1— Player Management (@PlayerManagemen) May 13, 2017
The promotion came despite a 2-1 loss to Ternana, the club Antenucci started with before coming to Leeds. The lone goal for the Spallini came from … you guessed it … Antenucci.
SPAL IN VANTAGGIO AL 12'!!!!!!!!!!!!! #TerSpa 0-1 pic.twitter.com/ali7COKssT— SPAL (@spalferrara) May 13, 2017
“When I chose Ferrara I had positive feelings that turned out to be successful, a square with such a public and a life Serene after two years of England,” Antenucci told Sky Sports Italy in an interview this weekend.
Antenucci’s agent Silvio Pagliari told Serie B News the decision to move on from Leeds to SPAL was “still well thought out.”
“It’s a solid company with clear projects, so all was well weighted too with my partner Michelangelo Minieri. All went well,” Pagliari said.
Oh, what could have been …