After abundant rumours, Genoa have completed their first signing of the summer: Domenico Criscito will return on a free transfer from Zenit. The 31-year-old defender leaves Russia after six years and 155 games with the Saint Petersburg club, where he won the Russian league twice.
Criscito has reportedly inked a contract that will keep him in Liguria also as an executive when he will decide to retire. In the past, he had three different stints with the Rossoblù, two of which on loan from Juventus in Serie B before the most notable one from 2008 to 2011, where he recorded 153 appearances.
He was part of the last round of call-ups of the new Italy’s coach Roberto Mancini and on May 28th he resumed playing with Azzurri after a five-year absence. He has collected 24 caps with the national team and was a regular in the youth teams as well.
In Genoa’s 3-5-2 scheme, he can play either as left centre-back, supplanting Ervin Zukanovic, or as left wing back, where he may replace Diego Laxalt, who is being pursued by other clubs. If Davide Ballardini decides to move on from a three-man defence, his natural fit would be at left back. He could be a sneakily good fantasy contributor as, despite not being particularly imposing, he is no stranger to scoring in set pieces. He has tallied 11 goals in the last two seasons.
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