The winter transfer season has now officially come and gone, and the focus of this piece is on Serie A, Italy’s top flight, where many intriguing transfers are likely to shake up the rest of the league season.
Juventus made few moves in their attempts to strengthen their hold as they hurtle towards a fourth consecutive Scudetto. Teams like Roma and Milan made more changes as they attempt to claw their way back up to the Scudetto and Champions League soccer. We will analyze the the clubs in three divisions, lower, middle, and upper table. The lowest are those teams who, halfway through the season, are trying to stave off relegation. Mid-table teams are really just trying to hold their position, knocking points off the top when possible, and hoping for miracles. The few top teams are the ones in contention for hardware at the end of the year, or at least European competitions next year.
Very few transfers to report here. Parma, at the very bottom, cleared out pretty much all of their true talent, seemingly succombing to their destiny of relegation and beginning a much needed process of regrowth. Hellas and Chievo Verona both made several additions, both mostly in the midfield. These are particularly important for the latter as they struggle to rise above the last relegation spot, where they currently find themselves. Cagliari loaned out Alessandro Capello to Varese, Daniele Giorico to Unione Venezia, and Antonio Loi to Carpi, all three out of the Serie A. They also sent Victor Ibarbo, Colombian international, to Roma for one of the priciest transfers of the season at €15 million. Atalanta and Cesena both elected to make negligible moves, which was particularly surprising for Cesena, only four points away from maintaining their place in Serie A.
The two teams whose appearances on this list are most surprising made several moves in line with their goal of maintaining their usual lofty standards, one more than the other. Only four points separate #7 Palermo and #13 Inter, leaving room for lots of movement here in the second half. Inter, who must be severely disappointed after the exciting return of Roberto Mancini to the bench, only one move of note, bringing back Davide Santon (Newcastle) in an attempt to shore up a back line that has particularly suspect this season. City rivals Milan, on the other hand, began the silly season by getting rid of El Niño Fernando Torres and bringing Alessio Cerci (Atletico Madrid) back to Italy. They also added Mattia Destro, the promising young striker, from Roma on a loan with option to buy at the end of the season deal. Silvio Berlusconi has clearly tired of seeing his squad flounder, additionally bringing in Luca Antonelli (Genoa) and Gabriel Paletta (Parma). Genoa added French defender Alassane Tambè from KV Kortrijk, brought Marco Borriello back from Roma for a second go-around, and were forced to allow Stefano Sturaro to return to Juventus. Borriello is thought to be a replacement for Alessandro Matri, who is following Sturaro to Turin. Torino, Sassuolo, and Udinese, all tied at 28 points, combined for nothing but a couple youth additions, none of which are thought to make a real immediate impact.
The strong are seemingly getting stronger in this silly season. Juventus brought in Matri and Sturaro to replace Sebastian Giovinco, who was sent to Toronto after rotting on the bench. While these may seem like insignificant moves, it will help Massimiliano Allegri keep his top players fresh for the Champions League and important Serie A matches. Sampdoria, added perhaps the most famous player this winter in Samuel Eto’o, although there have already been reports that his arrival is already causing trouble within the organization. Samp also made several smaller moves, like bringing in Alfred Duncan (Inter). Fiorentina had to bend to Chelsea’s will, sending Juan Cuadrado to England, with Mohamed Salah coming back the other way. Although to similar players in terms of style and position, the downgrade in quality is noticeable. Napoli, although 3rd and climbing, made little noise in the transfer market. Lazio too, failed to make waves, only bringing in Ravel Morrison (West Ham). Roma was certainly the team in the top notch that made the most of this opportunity. The focus was clearly on the attack, bringing in Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow), and Ibarbo. These replaced Destro and Borriello, although very different in styles. The team also added Nicolas Spolli to strengthen a central defence that will be key to the Giallorossi’s title run.
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