Serie A Transfer Market Weekly Recap

Little time left in the window and the clubs are putting the finishing touches on the rosters and getting rid of surplus players. The biggest move of the week was once again made by Inter, which signed Alexis Sanchez on loan from Manchester United and also acquired Cristiano Biraghi from Fiorentina in a swap with Dalbert. The Red Devils sent also Chris Smalling to Roma, who temporarily leaves Old Trafford after eight seasons and was regular in the last three. His experience will give him an edge over the younger options, but it would not particularly surprising to see Federico Fazio lose the starting job at some point.

Another Chilean international is coming back to Serie A as Bologna purchased Gary Medel from Besiktas to replenish their short-handed midfield that lost Erick Pulgar, Godfred Donsah and Adam Nagy. He is their grittier player on the roster and is set to have a major role.

Teams went pretty nuts on Friday and Saturday. Cagliari got bad news on Leonardo Pavoletti, which forced them to purchase another centre-forward and their pick was Giovanni Simeone from Fiorentina. El Cholito did well in his first year at both Genoa and Fiorentina, but completely faded last season. He is also pretty different from the injured starter, so it is a significant gamble. Like it is the addition of Robin Olsen, on loan from Roma, to make up for Alessio Cragno’s absence, who is set to stay out for at least a couple of months. The Swedish international looked very shaky in the Italian Capital and, while he will not as heavily scrutinized in Sardinia, he needs to bounce back in a big way in order not to hurt them.

Sassuolo brought back Gregoire Defrel after two years spent between Roma and Sampdoria. Despite a midseason swoon, he was a strong contributor for the Blucerchiati, scoring 11 times and serving as a perfect partner for Fabio Quagliarella. He was a winger earlier in his career, but increasingly became a central striker over the years, so it will interesting to see where the Neroverdi will put him, considering they had already purchased Francesco Caputo to handle that role. Maybe the two will simply alternate or they will tweak their system: they used a two-man attack versus Torino, but only because Domenico Berardi was suspended. Or perhaps the Frenchman will go back to wider pastures, challenging also Jeremie Boga.

After evaluating few options, Fiorentina signed the cheapest one to provide some depth to their back-line: Martin Caceres, who was a free agent after six months on loan at Juventus and the conclusion of his contract with Lazio. He played very little in the last two years but there are worse choices for a reserve. Lecce managed to get Giannelli Imbula from Stoke City, who spent the last two years at Toulouse and Rayo Vallecano after being considered a hot prospect when he was younger. He can feature in a number of roles in the midfield and should unseat one of last year’s starter rather easily.

A lot of moves on left flanks: Atalanta let Arkadiusz Reca join SPAL, who needed a guy there after Mohamed Fares’ injury, and replaced him with prospect Guilherme Arana from Sevilla. Reca was very productive in the Polish league but never managed to get into the rotation last season, now it will be up to the Brazilian youngster to try to chip away at the Hans Hateboer, Robin Gosens and Timothy Castagne triumvirate. In a similar situation, Torino brought in Diego Laxalt on loan with option from Milan, who enters the fold that includes Lorenzo De Silvestri, Cristian Ansaldi and Ola Aina, who can all play on both wings. Laxalt was pretty good when given playing time in Genoa, but it remains to be seen how big his role with the Granata will be. Parma finally closed the deal for Giuseppe Pezzella there, but they are not done adding fullbacks. Ivan Strinic rescinded his contract with Milan after a year spent recovering from a heart condition and could latch onto a smaller club.

Verona will try to break the touted Eddy Salcedo into Serie A action after he shined in Primavera. He can feature either as winger or as striker and might work as false-nine, but their front-line is not set yet.

Napoli loaned Adam Ounas to Nice, who had some flashes but was used too sporadically during his time with the Partenopei. Inter shipped Joao Mario to Lokomotiv Moscow as the Portuguese midfielder never truly asserted himself as a valuable option in his time in Milan.

Roma loaned Ante Coric to Almeria, who basically never got to play last season due to continuous injuries and quality competition, while Atalanta sent Matteo Pessina to Hellas Verona, which suddenly have a crowded midfield, Marco Varnier, who lost a year due to an ACL tear, to Pisa and Luca Valzania to Cremonese, who was okay in Frosinone but evidently could not find a Serie A team. Parma sent José Machin back to Pescara as he could not make an impact last season and they signed several midfielders during the summer.

Bologna shipped Arturo Calabresi to Amiens, who would not have much room with all their new additions in the back. Udinese sent three young midfielders to Serie B: Andrija Balic to Perugia, Svante Ingelsson to Pescara and Mamadou Coulibaly to Virtus Entella. They all have a chance to crack the first team in the future, but they need to play consistently. Cagliari cut bait on Santiago Colombatto, who was sold to Sint-Truidense after four years on loan in the second league.

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