Last week we looked at the winners of the summer transfer window now that we have a fairly substantial sample size of games, while today we’ll look at the teams that so far have not received many positive returns from their summer acquisitions:
Juventus- the first summer window without Beppe Marotta was rather challenging for Fabio Paratici and Pavel Nedved. It’s bad enough that the team would likely be far worse off had they sold Gonzalo Higuain, who was so at the margins of the project that he changed numbers from 9 to 21, and Paulo Dybala who was very close to both Manchester United and Tottenham, but beyond that, so far you can question the decision of investing significantly on Mathijs De Ligt over a stud midfielder like Milinkovic Savic or Pogba.
One of the reasons you can question the De Ligt signing is however the emergence of Mehdi Demiral, but by the same token investing a ton in wages in both Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot has so far backfired even though they arrived on Bosman deals just like another player at the margins of the project in Emre Can.
Paratici has so however looked like a genius with the sales of Joao Cancelo and Moise’ Kean, who just like Caldara have yet to make an impact at their new clubs. While Danilo has failed to make an impact at wingback, Juan Cuadrado has reinvented himself as a well above average right winger and Rodrigo Bentancur has been the biggest beneficiary of the Sarri hire. Paratici has been able to move both Perin and Mandzukic. But he still has a bloated payroll and question marks in his midfield.
Milan- safe to say Marco Giampaolo was completely in over his head at Milan, but he also wasn’t set up to succeed since his squad wasn’t built for the (only) formation he was known to use. Now you can forgive a bit of chaos when you consider that Milan had four different sporting directors in four years and this summer had the inexperienced Boban, Maldini and Massara trio in charge, but the only new addition that clearly looks like a keeper is Theo Hernandez.
Leao showed some flashes but has also been described as immature off the pitch, Bennacer had as many dreadful performances as great matches (but at least does seem like a potential building block), Duarte and Krunic battled injuries, Rebic could return to Germany after just 6 months and the two big additions from last January Piatek and Paqueta’- who were brought in a bit early to try to clinch the last Champions League spot- could both leave in January.
While the Ibrahimovic signing shouldn’t be seen as a repudiation of the youth movement at the club, it also could be seen as a sign of desperation after another poor summer transfer window.
Genoa- I was very impressed with what Preziosi’s club did in the summer since they bolstered their defense by signing Zapata, who had his moments at Milan, and bringing back Barreca to Serie A where he used to be an above average left back. Landing Schone, who just a few months before was starting in a Champions League semifinal for Ajax, was quite the coup as well as adding highly rated Inter prospect Pinamonti to their front line.
But while things can look good on paper, in the end “decide il campo” (the pitch decides). Genoa never clicked under former Empoli manager Andreazzoli and hiring Thiago Motta as his replacement was a gamble that didn’t pay off. Genoa now already added Mattia Perin and Valon Behrami to try to avoid relegation in the second half of the season.
Sampdoria- while Genoa looked good on paper to me, you could see their cross town rivals were in big trouble going into the season. They banked on Quagliarella coming close to his standards from his previous, sold their best defender in Andersen and their best midfielder in Praet. With the club up for sale, president Ferrero wasn’t going to invest significantly but Andersen’s replacement Murillo and highly rated Argentine prospect Maroni have been busts.
Torino- going with continuity really paid off for Lazio so far this season, but the same cannot be said for the granata who brought back manager Mazzarri as well as essentially the same squad. Center back N’Kolou was essentially kept against his will rather than letting him reunite with Petrachi at Roma and Izzo, who signed a rich extension, hasn’t performed at the level of last season making the defense significantly worse than a year ago.
Torino invested significantly to acquire Ola Aina on a permanent basis, but the former Chelsea wing back was often benched in favor of Ansaldi and new addition Simone Verdi, who was expected to go back to his Bologna form after a difficult season at Napoli was called out publicly by both manager Mazzarri and president Cairo,