Juraj Kucka to Parma B+
After finishing the first half of the season closer to a Europa League spot than the relegation zone, Parma didn’t rest on their laurels during the January window. Following the brilliant Gervinho addition, the newly promoted club decided to bring back Kucka to Italy in order to give more muscle to D’Aversa’s midfield. The Slovakian international has six years of Serie A experience and can be an important player for Parma next season as well.
Krzyzsztof Piatek to Milan B
Granted it’s a very small sample size, but the rossoneri have looked like a different team since Gonzalo Higuain left. Gattuso’s team looked much more fluid in both games against Genoa and Napoli and it’s certainly possible the players are much looser now that all the questions on the Pipita’s future have ended.
Piatek’s annual wages are about a quarter of what Higuain was earning, and considering how poor the Argentine striker had been in the past few weeks, the drop off (if any) shouldn’t be very substantial especially if Piatek keeps playing like he did in the last twenty minutes of the match against Napoli.
While Milan weren’t able to include any players in the deal for Genoa, they showed a lot of financial strength by paying the 35 million euro transfer fee in one installment. After Paqueta, Milan have now added another player in his early 20s to add to their young nucleus, they are still legitimate contenders for a Champions League spot now while also ensuring they have a squad with a lot of upside for next season.
There are however two questions marks that remain following this transaction- what is it about Milan that both Bonucci and Higuain, two players good enough to start for an elite team like Juventus, that they both wanted to leave so soon? Are Cutrone and Piatek compatible or mutually exclusive?
For Genoa the Piatek deal is a financial home run. They made a 30 million euro profit on a player they had acquired just last summer, and by selling him quickly, they ensured they won’t have any Belotti like regrets in case he can’t continue his impressive scoring streak from the first half of the season. But they are also losing a key player while still being in the middle of the relegation race, they’ll need Kouame to lead the line and hope that Sanabria adapts quickly to Serie A.
Stefano Sturaro to Genoa C+
Preziosi’s club is known for being very active In the January window, and this year was no exception. In addition to Sanabria and defender Pezzela who arrived from Udinese, they also brought back to Sturaro on loan for 1.5 million with a vested option to buy for 8.5 million. While the Italian international never lived up to expectations at Juventus, he should bring some much needed muscle to Prandelli’s midfield.
The Sturaro deal fits into a larger picture between the two clubs, Juventus previously acquired Mattia Perin and are the clear favorites to land center back Cristian Romero, one of the revelations of the Serie A season, next summer.
Martin Caceres to Juventus C-
Speaking of Juventus center backs, the Uruguayan international returned to Turin after two previous stints at the club. While Caceres is familiar with what to expect with the bianconeri, there’s no denying he’s a considerable downgrade from Mehdi Benatia, the player he’s going to help replace, at this stage of his career.
While some expected the policy of respecting the player’s will to end with Beppe Marotta’s departure, Juventus didn’t force Benatia to stay after he received a rich offer from Qatar. While the Moroccan international is injury prone and had a reduced role after Leonardo Bonucci’s return, he was arguably Allegri’s best pure defender after Giorgio Chiellini and hence a valuable piece of the puzzle in Juventus’ pursuit of the elusive Champions League cup.
Benatia’s transfer is a great opportunity for Daniele Rugani, a player that has typically only started against the bottom table teams in Serie A this season. It will be interesting to see if Allegri trusts him in a big game over Barzagli (who is rehabbing from an injury) and newly arrived Caceres should Chiellini or Bonucci suffer an injury.
Cedric Soares to Inter B
Following Sime Vrsaljko’s injury (and disappointing first half of the season), the nerazzurri acted quickly to give Luciano Spalletti a new starting caliber right back. Soares arrived from Southampton on a loan for 500k with an option to buy worth 11 million, considerably cheaper than what they would have had to pay Atletico Madrid to retain Vrsaljko permanently.
Soares was picked over Joao Cancelo to play for Portugal in the last World Cup and as Gazzetta dello Sport reported, no player had more crosses than him in the Premier League in the past four seasons.