Alessio Da Cruz: A third red card, a fight with a team mate, a confrontation with fans and the alleged victim of racist abuse - Sheffield Wednesday's next signing has had quite a season
Sheffield Wednesday are expected to announce the signing of Dutch forward Alessio Da Cruz before the end of the January transfer window, with the 23-year-old believed to be in the country for a medical.
And upon arriving in England, Da Cruz leaves behind him something of a storm in Italy.
The rapid-quick former Netherlands under 18 international had been on loan at Serie B side Ascoli from Parma since the beginning of this season, where he had picked up a bit of a reputation.
It had all started fairly well, with a goal and an assist in Coppa Italia on his debut for Ascoli. Then on the opening day of the league season against Trapani, Da Cruz made quite an impression – another goal, another assist and a late red card.
Upson returning to the side after suspension, he scored twice against Juve Stabia and followed that up by setting up another and scoring himself a few days later against Spezia Calcio.
His second red card of the season would arrive just six games into the campaign, against Virtus Entella in a fiery affair that saw 11 yellow cards handed out in total.
In mid-October he then became involved in a disagreement with team mate Andrew Gravillon during training, which led to Da Cruz being suspended by the club.
Then it all came to a head again a little over a week ago when the third red card of his short Ascoli career arrived in the 90th minute – against against Trapani – and from there came a confrontation with a small band of traveling fans.
Da Cruz had to be taken away by officials following the unsavoury scenes and in the aftermath there was little support coming from the club.
Club owner Massimo Pulcinelli said: "Ascoli definitively distances himself from Alessio Da Cruz. Today's performance does not reflect the expectations of the club and the Ascoli Calcio project. The Company itself distances itself from Alessio Da Cruz's behavior.
“The umpteenth expulsion and behavior - not in line with Ascoli Calcio's ethical code - on the pitch and in the presence of fans, who have followed the team once again, oblige the club to definitively distance itself from the player."
Da Cruz, however defended his actions and said he was the victim of racist abuse as he walked off the pitch, with the team losing 3-1 at the time.
He said: “When I received the red card I was calm and wanted to go off the pitch. I accepted it. Some Ascoli fans, however, have started to insult me and my family even with racist insults. So I lost control, those words freaked me out.
“It is really difficult for me to understand how fans can not support their team and their players. When I or my teammates receive a red card, they still have to support us no matter what happens.
“It is wrong to turn your back on your players. But I still apologize to that part of the fans who had nothing against me.”
And that appears to have been his final act as an Ascoli player, with Da Cruz looking likely to join the Owls before the end of the week in a deal to cover the remainder of the season.
On the pitch, he looks like an exciting talent. Off it? Well it’s not going to be boring on this evidence.