Italian Fabio Vignaroli boosts Jets frontline

JETS director of football Remo Nogarotto said Fabio Vignaroli ticked all the right boxes, and he was confident the former Lazio forward can make an impact in the Asian Champions League.Vignaroli, 32, has signed a six-month contract with the Jets and arrives in Newcastle tomorrow night."I am quietly confident," Nogarotto told The Herald last night from his Rome base."He has played at a good level and is very highly regarded at Lazio."He is very quick on his feet, very good technically and has a high work rate, which Italians are not really known for."In theory he seems to tick all the boxes that [coach] Gary [van Egmond] put for this type of player." Vignaroli joins Dutchman Donny de Groot and veteran Australian forward Sasho Petrovski in a new-look strike force.The departure last Friday of Joel Griffiths for China on a 10-month loan deal at Beijing Guoan has left a massive hole in a squad who already had the worst attacking record in the A-League.But van Egmond has faith in the new frontline, which also includes Sean Rooney and home-grown duo Peter Haynes and Joel Wood."You are never satisfied as a coach you always want more depth and quality," van Egmond said."But it is definitely a step in the right direction from where we were for the mainstay of the A-League."The recruitment of Vignaroli and de Groot is also a change in direction.In past seasons the Jets have dipped into the South American pool for their front men with limited success.Colombian Milton Rodriguez, who the Jets tried unsuccessfully to get back this season, scored seven goals in their second campaign.Since his departure Jorge Drovandi, Mario Jardel and Denni have hit the target once between them.Van Egmond said he knew little about Vignaroli other than that the 32-year-old had an impressive resume."His pedigree is good so hopefully he can do a job for us in the Asian Champions League," the coach said."Anyone who has played at Lazio and spent a number of seasons in the Serie A is no mug."From what I understand, he has been playing more as a second striker but can also play in a front three, either on the left or right."Vignaroli played nine games for Lazio in the 2007-08 season and also had extended spells at fellow Serie A clubs Bari, Bologna, Parma and Modena.He joined Greek club Panthrakikos briefly midway through last year and had trialled at Scottish Premier League clubs Dundee United and Kilmarnock before joining the Jets.But despite his glowing list of clubs, Vignaroli has struggled for goals in recent seasons.His most productive campaign was in the 2000-01 season when he netted 20 goals for Serie B club Salernitana Calcio.But since 2005, he has netted only eight goals in 134 matches."I do not want to ramp up expectations because, with the exception of Milton Rodriguez, we have had a chequered record with overseas players," Nogarotto said."Let's see how he goes."The brief from Gary was simple. He needs to be comfortable playing just off the No.9 or in a wide role in a three, which he can do as well."He is not a tradesman-like guy who sits in the centre of the park and knocks the ball around. We have purchased him with an offensive brief in mind."

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