Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.
Like the Premier League, Serie A moved their transfer window forward until the eve of the new league campaign. The window shut on Friday evening, ahead the first match on Saturday. Italy is also seeing a shift to a dominant top six in Serie A, just like the Premier League.
After a busy window and ahead of the new campaign, we’re running through the ins and outs at each of Italy’s top clubs. They’ve all had at least one major departure, but have they found a way to bounce back? We’re likely to see a tight race for the top four, and an assault for the Champions League trophy from Juventus. We’re looking over all the summer transfer deals to see who is ready for the start of the season.
Also see: Serie A 2018/19 Outright Betting Tips
Net Transfer Spend: £165million
The fact that the champions’ net spend overshadows the rest of the top six suggests that they’re on course for an eighth straight title. Their spending includes the £35million paid to make Douglas Costa’s move a permanent one. It also includes their Italian record deal for Cristiano Ronaldo, who arrived for £89million. That’s caused a stir in Europe, and it’s seen Juve priced up as the favourites to win not just Serie A, but the Champions League too.
The champions have boosted their first team with Emre Can in midfield, Joao Cancelo at full-back and the return of Leonardo Bonucci. Those players all strengthen them at the back, making them a more formidable side domestically and in Europe. Their £11million deal for back-up goalkeeper Mattia Perin from Genoa takes their summer outlay to over £200million.
The Old Lady managed to offset that with £47million from AC Milan for Mattia Caldara and Gonzalo Higuain. Their wage bill and average age dropped after Benedikt Howedes, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Kwadwo Asamoah and Gianluigi Buffon departed. Despite plenty of experienced stars leaving, they wrapped up the summer with a stronger squad and first team.
Net Transfer Spend: £28million
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) July 5, 2018
There were big changes for last season’s runners-up over the summer, and they wrapped up their transfer business just before the deadline. David Ospina moved to Naples on a season long loan deal, making him the seventh new face through the door. However, their squad took a hit, as Chelsea paid £57million to bring Jorginho and Maurizio Sarri to Stamford Bridge.
Those were two big departures, but aside from Pepe Reina departing on a free Napoli have hung on to last season’s squad. They replaced their manager with Ancelotti, and then turned to Real Betis midfielder Fabian Ruiz to fill their central midfield void.
The rest of the Jorginho money covered their signing of Bologna forward Simeone Verdi, so they now finally have a natural striker who can rival the injury prone Arkadiusz Milik. They have added in the goalkeeper department, as Alex Meret and Orestis Karnezis are battling Ospina for that spot. Finally, they tied up a deal for defender Kevin Malcuit from Lille. Overall, the Partenopei made small improvements to last season’s record breaking squad, but they can’t match Juve.
Net Transfer Profit: £3.5million
Roma managed to turn a profit in the transfer window, but will they improve after losing some key stars? While the last 12 months haven’t been golden for Radja Nainggolan, but his switch to Inter is still a blow. Obviously they’re affected by the departure of Alisson, who was a rock in goal for the Giallorossi last term. They’ve tried to replace those two in interesting ways, while aiming to improve the side who made the Champions League semi-finals last term.
They made 12 signings in total, including an entirely new midfield three. World Cup winner Steven Nzonzi was the biggest of the bunch, with the holding midfielder costing up to £27million. Javier Pastore was just shy of that fee, and he’s their new creative spark, alongside Atalanta loanee and goalscoring midfielder Bryan Cristante.
They replaced Alisson with three goalkeepers, including Swedish international Robin Olsen from Copenhagen. Davide Santon and Nicolo Zaniolo came as part of the Nianggolan deal. However, the most exciting of the bunch is winger Justin Kluivert. The son of Dutch legend Patrick left Ajax for £15million, and the 19-year-old joins a youthful Roma forward line.
Net Transfer Spend: £27.5million
Inter have been slowly building their squad after a transfer craze in 2016, and this summer has been a success. They moved on some players, but they invested in order to strengthen. Radja Nainggolan was their first addition, while they already had a pre-contract defeat for Lazio’s Stefan de Vrij, who will walk straight in to their defence.
They added depth to their squad be signing Juve’s Kwadwo Asamoah on a free, Matteo Politano from Sassuolo and highly rated forward Lautaro Martinez. The Argentine may have already forced his way in to the starting line-up, after fine preseason displays. World Cup finalist Sime Vrsaljko pads out their defence, while Keita Balde on loan adds even more firepower to a side who struggled to support clinical frontman Mauro Icardi. While Inter aren’t at Juve’s level, they also don’t have too many obvious weaknesses.
Net Transfer Profit: £450,000
Lazio have had a very under the radar window, after losing out on the top four on the final day last season. That limited their business, and they ended up recouping their transfer outlay. Moves for defender Riza Durmisi and midfielder Valon Berisha hardly set the world alight. Milan Badelj moved from Fiorentina on a free, while Sevilla man Joaquin Correa was their biggest signing.
Losing Stefan de Vrij was a blow to Lazio, and it will be interesting to see how they’re going to replace him. Felipe Anderson didn’t look all that vital to Lazio’s top four push last season, and they got a hefty fee from West Ham for a player who lacks consistency. While they won’t miss the Brazilian, their decision not to beef up their defence could prove to be a mistake.
Net Transfer Spend: £30.5million
They had obligations to by Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini, but they made a £5million loss on the former just to get him out the door to Atletico Madrid. While the Rossoneri admitted defeat on Leonardo Bonucci, they got the most out of that deal. They swapped him for the brightest defensive talents in Serie A – Mattia Caldara. They also used Bonucci as leverage to get a cut price loan move for Gonzalo Higuain. As a side who had everything bar a clinical forward, getting rid of Andre Silva and Kalinic for a proven talent like Higuain looks like a brilliant move.
Those big signings came after a change of ownership, including the return of Leonardo and Paolo Maldini in boardroom positions. They turned the transfer window around for Milan, who are now in the hunt for a top four place. With Tiemoue Bakayoko on loan from Chelsea, they have six new signings who can improve their first team, making this a great summer for the Rossoneri.
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