Yesterday we looked at the winners of the January window, but who is worse off following the four weeks of transactions in Serie A? If some of them feel like they‘re a stretch, it’s because overall this was a good window for Calcio
Way most perceive Fabio Paratici
Safe to say Juventus’ sporting director is viewed in a very different light compared to a year ago. While he was already considered to be one of the elite sporting directors in Europe prior to the transaction, the Cristiano Ronaldo acquisition, mainly financed by making plusvalenze on minor players not part of the long term project, made him into a bonafide star.
But despite acquiring the highly coveted De Ligt and discovering Demiral, there has been a malaise surrounding Paratici since last summer. The disappointment over Sarri arriving instead of Guardiola, Dybala being essentially pushed out in the summer, a midfield that is still a work in progress and the extensions given to players who where then almost impossible to move have taken their toll on how most view Paratici. This negative perception continued in January when his former mentor Beppe Marotta landed Christian Eriksen, the type of signing that could have moved the needle in Juventus’ weakest unit.
While there is a dark cloud surrounding him, Paratici did some positive things in January by landing one of the most promising players in Serie A in Dejan Kulusevski, who will bring his iron lungs and dribbling ability to a squad in dire need of such attributes, setting up a potential future significant plusvalenza on Emre Can and shedding Mandzukic and Pjaca’s wages from a very bloated payroll.
Lazio not going for it
Lazio were very quiet this window, their main moves were to loan out Berisha and Durmissi after a very disappointing season and a half in Rome, but they did pursue Olivier Giroud in the final days and could sign him on a Bosman deal for next season. The eliminations in both the Europa League and Coppa Italia certainly justify a reduction in squad size, but at the same time it would have been nice to give Simone Inzaghi a few extra chips to find out if the biancocelesti are scudetto contenders.
Roma just holding serve
The giallorossi went into the January window with the need for a right back and a strong backup for Edin Dzeko, who was starting to run out of gas after a strong start to the season. But injuries to Nicolo’ Zaniolo and Amadou Diawara, forced sporting director Petrachi on having to focus on replacing them rather than trying to elevate the squad in the needed roles.
Villar arrived from Elche to provide more options in the midfield while Perez joins from Barcelona to replace Zaniolo, at best this feels like a slight downgrade. While Ibanez should be an upgrade over Juan Jesus and Fazio’s replacement next season as the primary backup, Roma are even thinner at right back now that Florenzi joined Valencia in order to play regularly before the Euro.
Sampdoria still in danger
Going into the January transfer window, the situation wasn’t as dire as cross town rivals Genoa but Sampdoria had an opportunity to make some head way in the race to avoid relegation with a few good additions. Ferrero’s club replaced the very disappointing Murillo with both Lorenzo Tonelli, who had previously played at the club with mixed results, and Yoshida who surprisingly arrived from Southampton- while they will likely be upgrades over the version of Murillo we saw this season, the club has still to yet adequately replace Joaquin Andersen.
Unless new addition La Gumina exceeds expectations, Sampdoria will have to count on Quagliarella returning to form to provide goals after deciding to move on from Caprari who joined Parma and Rigoni who rejoined Zenit. On the bright side for Sampdoria, hiring Ranieri to replace Di Francesco has been an inspired choice and could suffice to avoid relegation.
Brescia falling behind in race to avoid relegation
The January window likely brought a significant shit in the race to avoid relegation. We saw some teams bring in some potential difference makers, particularly Genoa with Iago’ Falque, Masiello and Soumaro, SPAL by bringing back center back Kevin Bonifazi and bolstering the midfield with Castro and Dabo, as well as Lecce with Saponara and Barak while others taking a more passive approach. Brescia feel particularly vulnerable when you consider their competition all improved, at least on paper, while their only significant addition was Skrabb who will have to adapt to Serie A after arriving from Norrkopping.