Following an inconsistent end to 2018, Lazio are aware reinforcements are needed if they are to achieve top four. After barely missing out on Europe’s elite competition last season on the final match-day against Inter, the biancocelesti will not let Champions League football and its lucrative rewards slip away on the second time of asking. With Roma and Milan both struggling with problems of their own, this year is as good as any for Simone Inzaghi’s side to make fourth place their own. Here are three players that Lazio have been reportedly interested in to bolster their stuttering roster.
As of late, Chelsea wingback Davide Zappacosta has been heavily linked with a move to Lazio, especially since finding himself on the outskirts of the first team under Maurizio Sarri. With Adam Marusic failing to hit last season’s highs, and with Patric and Dusan Basta barely challenging him, reinforcements out wide are necessary. For 13 million euros, Lazio will be getting a player familiar with the Italian game and more importantly, an ideal fit for Inzaghi’s system.
Throughout his time at Torino, Zappacosta thrived as a right wingback and established himself as a regular with the national team prompting Antonio Conte to bring him to London. After Conte’s departure, however, the fullback was deemed surplus to requirements due to Sarri’s different footballing philosophy and is in dire need in a change of scenery. Lazio could not only provide him that, but can also help him reach his former heights in a familiar environment.
Another player Lazio have been linked with is Barcelona winger Malcom. Much like Zappacosta, the disgruntled Brazilian finds himself watching from the sidelines more often than not and is reportedly seeking a move away to continue his progression. Earlier this summer, the former Bordeaux winger was set for a move to Roma, Lazio’s fierce rivals, yet changed his mind for the Spanish giants in astonishing fashion. Last season, the winger made a name for himself in Ligue Un, but is yet to demonstrate his true talent in Spain.
Today, Malcom finds himself behind Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele in the pecking order at the Camp Nou and has struggled for playing time. As a result, Lazio president Claudio Lotito and sporting director Igli Tare have contacted Barcelona’s board and have inquired about the possibility of a loan deal, even offering to cover his wages.
The loan would not only help Malcom regain some much needed confidence and match fitness, but it would also help Inzaghi’s men in the race for top four, essentially arming them with another weapon in the final third besides Ciro Immobile. Barcelona, however, are unwilling to budge unless the offer is too good to turn down. Lazio are expected to make one final offer in the coming weeks.
Another player, perhaps less heard of, that Lazio have been linked with is Macedonian wonder-kid Elif Elmas. At just 19 years old, the midfielder has been labelled as one of football’s rising stars and has turned heads throughout his time with Fenerbahce. With their midfield struggling, Elmas could provide a much needed boost in creativity and control for Lazio.
Having said this, Lazio will need to act fast as a number of Europe’s elite clubs have queued up for the midfielder including the likes of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. English giants Tottenham and Chelsea have also said to have been interested in the player, but are currently pursuing other avenues.
With Lazio currently in contention for top four among a plethora of clubs, it would be foolish if they remained inactive throughout the transfer window and failed to address their needs. While a total revolution is not necessary, the biancocelesti could definitely do with a face-lift.
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