Torino have opted to get their summer transfer shopping done as early as possible, ahead of the 2019-20 Serie A season.
Walter Mazzarri’s side were excellent in the end of season run in, in 2018-19, with just one defeat in their final ten games ensuring they finished inside the Europa League qualification spots for the first time since 2014.
However they were denied a place in the 2019-20 Europa League, after 8th place Lazio beat Atalanta in the 2019 Coppa Italia final.
Despite that last minute disappointment, Mazzarri has been quick off the mark to ensure his team are ready for the battle right from the season kick off, with some smart moves in the transfer market already signed off.
Simone Zaza impressed in patches last season, on loan from La Liga side Valencia, and Mazzarri has opted to activate the purchase clause in the deal.
The Italian international struggled for goals, but he proved an effective foil for top scorer Andrea Belotti, who has also agreed a new contract up to 2023 – warding off interest from Serie A champions and local rivals Juventus.
Ola Aina enjoyed an even better loan spell at the club in 2018-19, operating in both full back positions when needed, and the club has also made his move permanent from Premier League side Chelsea.
The signings of Zaza and Aina address to early season concerns for Mazzarri, cover for Belotti in attack and competition for places at full back an in wide midfield areas.
They have also confirmed permanent deals for last season’s loanees, Koffi Djidji and Cristian Ansaldi, from Nantes and Inter Milan respectively, adding experience in defence.
Mazzarri has been smart in these deals, only agreeing to pay fees that had been negotiated in 2018, and shifting dead wood from the squad including M’Baye Niang and former Manchetser United midfielder Adem Ljajic, for a profit, to Stade Rennes and Besiktas respectively.
The former Watford boss is likely to bring in one or two more new faces ahead of the season kick off, on August 18, although he will have less money to work with than his rivals who secured European qualification.
A creative midfielder could be the final piece of the jigsaw, with goals from midfield an issue for Mazzarri last season, with Daniele Baselli the highest, scoring just four in league action in 2018-19.
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