• Wikipedia Entry
The surprise departure of Jermaine Beckford after just one season at Everton, where he scored a reasonably creditable 10 goals, appeared to have provided the funds that finally enabled David Moyes to make a move in the Summer 2011 transfer window, albeit for only a loan deal for striker Denis Stracqualursi.
The Argentine came with the glowing accolade of having been the leading scorer in the Argentinian Clausura in 2011 but was, ironically enough, passed over by Leicester City — the team that signed Beckford — before the Blues snapped him up on deadline day.
Stracqualursi started his playing career in 2007 with Unión de Sunchales in the 3rd division of Argentine football. In 2008 he joined Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata, scoring his first goal for the club in a 1–0 win over Colón de Santa Fe. On 3 February 2010 Stracqualursi scored 2 goals to help Gimnasia win the Clásico Platense 3–1, ending Estudiantes' run of five consecutive victories.
He joined Tigre for the 2010–11 Argentine Primera División season on a one-year loan with the option to buy. While Gimnasia struggled to find the net, scoring only 13 goals in total during the 2010 Apertura tournament, Straqualursi scored freely for Tigre.
His 11th and last goal of the Apertura came in the postponed game with Independiente that was played on 6 February 2011. His tally of 11 goals made him the joint top scorer along Santiago Silva of Vélez Sársfield making him the first Tigre player ever to become top scorer in the Argentine Primera División.
Denis continued his good goalscoring form in the Clausura tournament with nine goals in the first ten games including a hat-trick against Boca Juniors at the Bombonera on 17 April 2011 meaning that he had scored the same amount of goals as the whole Gimnasia team combined at that stage of the tournament.
Despite that goalscoring pedigree in his native land, Stracqualursi would find it hard to adapt to the Premier League. The big Argentine would find chances few and far between in the first few months of his stay on Merseyside but made his first appearance with 10 or so promising minutes in a 3-1 win over Wigan Athletic — his flick-on set up Royston Drenthe's first goal for the Blues in injury time.
An unconvincing first start against West Bromwich Albion in the Carling Cup didn't help his case for a regular berth in the starting XI, though, and with just five appearances in all by mid-December, the rumour mill began churning out reported interest from clubs back in Argentina looking to take 'El Traca' back home in the January 2012 transfer window.
He stayed with the Blues for the remainder of the 2011-12 season and briefly looked to have found his feet with a series of energetic displays that warmed him to the Goodison faithful and yielded three goals in a month between the end of January and late February.
Ultimately, though, he just didn't manage to convince that he could cut it at the top level in England and he was released in May 2012 to return to Argentina. In July 2012, Stracqualursi moved on a free transfer from Tigre to another Argentine Primera División side, San Lorenzo. When the league began its two-month winter break in December 2012, Stracqualursi had scored seven goals and made four assists in eighteen games to help San Lorenzo to 11th place in the league.
By Michael Kenrick and Lyndon Lloyd
Last updated January 2013
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