Inter have been scouring the market for new flank players and, even though the Matteo Politano-Leonardo Spinazzola swap fell through, they still got one as they acquired Ashley Young from Manchester United. The 34-year-old Englishman, who signed a six-month contract with an optional second year and has amassed over 260 appearances with the Red Devils over the last nine years, has turned into a full-fledged fullback late in his career, primarily on the left, so he will immediately push Cristiano Biraghi for the starting job. He registered five assists in his best year in that position.
Milan worked on the fringes of the roster and filled the void left by the departure of Mattia Caldara with Simon Kjaer, who was quickly put aside by Gian Piero Gasperini after they added him on loan from Sevilla late in the summer. He moves to San Siro with the same formula and figures to fit better in a more traditional scheme, but he is unlikely to be much more than a bench option behind Alessio Romagnoli and Mateo Musacchio. Pepe Reina temporarily transferred to Aston Villa to be a starter after Tom Heaton’s knee injury and the Rossoneri replaced him with Asmir Begovic, who came over from Bournemouth on loan after spending the first half of the season at Qarabag.
Bologna bought Musa Barrow from Atalanta in an attempt to find a more consistent goal poacher after Mattia Destro left for Genoa. The youngster had shown intriguing flashes a couple of years ago but was then completely overshadowed by the explosion of Duvan Zapata. He will commence as Rodrigo Palacio’s back-up in his new club and will be deployed in must-score situation, with the opportunity to earn a bigger role if he produces.
After being frozen out for a while at Milan, Fabio Borini has transferred to Verona, where he will be able to play in a couple of positions, either as wing-back on each flank or in a supporting role behind the striker. The Scaligeri’s defensive style and his paltry stats over the last few seasons keep him out of the fantasy radar for now.
Brescia acquired another talented foreigner in Simon Skrabb from Norrkoping, who has tallied 14 goals and 11 assists in 85 games in the Swedish league and is a regular with his national team. He can play either as no.10 or as second striker and, considering his potential, he has a shot at meaningful minutes in either of the two spots down the line, especially the first one where Nikolas Spalek has been hit-or-miss. The Rondinelle did not stop there as they brought back Birkir Bjarnason to Italy after five years, who can be pretty prolific for a midfielder. Depending on how much he has left in the tank, he could push Spalek or Dimitri Bisoli for playing time and he has reached the double-digit threshold twice in his career.
Ignacio Pussetto has not had much room in Udinese’s winger-less formation and therefore he moved to Watford in a negotiation that must have been very difficult. He is a talented guy and tallied five goals and five assists last season, but their last coaches did not find a way to use correctly.
Jeison Murillo quickly fell out of favour at Sampdoria after a blunder-filled start of the season and he headed back to Spain, as Celta Vigo brought him in on loan with €16M option to buy. The Blucerchiati lost Alex Ferrari for the season and will start Julien Chabot next to Omar Colley for now but will surely add another centre-back, but it remains to be seen if the new guy will be able to unseat the current couple.
Andrea Tabanelli was a regular at Lecce in the first half of the season, scoring once, but they got a good offer from Frosinone and they allowed to leave. They have already purchased Alessandro Deiola in that position and will probably do something more. Three other players returned to Serie B after playing very rarely so far: Sassuolo’s midfielder Luca Mazzitelli joined Virtus Entella, Brescia’s attacker Leonardo Morosini fled to Ascoli, Verona’s midfielder Liam Henderson was poached by Empoli. Ludomir Tupta instead will finish the season at Wisla Krokow.
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