All posts by spigazzi

2017 Serie A Transfer Targets

AC Milan

Who’s In: Franck Kessié, Mateo Musacchio, Ricardo Rodríguez, André Silva, Gabriel, José Mauri, Gianmarco Zigoni, M’Baye Niang
Who’s Out:  Diego López, Ocampos, Matí Fernandez, Pašalić, Deulofeu, Lapadula (50%), Poli (95%), Antonelli (60%), Bacca (50 %), Paletta (95%), Ocampos (90%), Niang (75%), Gianluigi Donnarumma (50%)
Transfer Targets: James Rodríguez (20%), Conti (80%), Forsberg (30%), Lucas Biglia (50%), Borini (10%), Yevhen Konoplyanka (30%), Alvaro Morata (10%)

Transfer Summary: With the help of new sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli, AC Milan have already signed four notable players that undoubtedly increase their chances at securing a Champions league spot next season. No one really knows what will happen with Donnarumma but either way, the team is still two or three important players away from challenging for the Scudetto. Mirabelli has been a revelation so far, signing young talented players at fairly reasonable prices. I expect Conti and Biglia to sign before the end of the season, which address two key areas in which Milan is lacking. The addition of a clinical striker like Morata could also be another way to boost fan excitement and legitimize themselves as a powerhouse in Serie A.

Mirabelli (left) looks to help put Milan back on track.

Inter Milan

Who’s In: Caprari, Padelli, Ranocchia, Dimarco, Miangue, Manaj, Puscas, Jovetić, Camara
Who’s Out: Carrizo, Palacio, Jovetic (80%), Banega (85%), Brozovic (35%)
Transfer Targets: Borja Valero (65%), Inaki Williams (30%), Skriniar (65%), Koulibaly (75%)

Transfer Summary– So far, Inter has been a little slow to dive into the transfer market. While they have been linked with some interesting prospects like Berardi and Williams, they have yet to sign a single new player. Waiting is not ideal for Inter, who must keep up with their cross-town rivals if they want to finish in the top four next season. Skriniar could be a decent addition, but he will need time to adapt and is far from living up to his potential. Candreva and Perišić could be sold, but they must perform for the entire season, which has been an issue. Overall, Inter seems to be lacking a clear direction and identity, two things they have failed to address so far in this window.

Ivan Perišić (pictured) has been linked with a move to the Premier League, among other places.


Who’s In: Schick, Cuadrado, Bentancur, Orsolini, Leali, Romagna, Marrone, Tello, Cassata, Ganz, Thiam, Cerri
Who’s Out: De Ceglie, Dani Alves (90%), Alex Sandro (50%), Bonucci (30%), Neto (50%)
Transfer Targets: Douglas Costa (60%), Aurier (30%), Can (10%), Renato Sanches (40%) Bernardeschi (35%), Matić (20%), Darmian (50%), Keita (40%), Matiudi (20%)

Transfer Summary: Juventus have been linked with a plethora of players but have only managed to make Cuadrado’s move permanent and along with the former Sampdoria sensation, Schick. Dani Alves is almost certain to leave the club and a signing like Serge Aurier would be the ideal player to add youth to the team and keep the high quality of talent. Alex Sandro might also be heading out the door, which would require Juventus to sign a top left back, unless they want to rely on Asamoah playing out of positon for an entire season. The BBC era seems to be over and this could be a good opportunity for youngsters like Caldara and Rugani to take on a starting role. If they are to make another deep run in the Champions League, I suggest that they sign Douglas Costa and a top five midfielder to add to their depth. Moreover, a new backup for Buffon could be useful for the future, as Neto seems to be halfway out the door and is not fit to be a long-term replacement.

Alex Sandro (pictured) was a key player for Juventus this past season, but he could be departing.

AS Roma

Who’s In: Hector Moreno, Skorupski, Gyomber, Zukanović, Castan, Iturbe, Seck, Vainqueur, Ricci, Verde, Sadiq, Doumbia
Who’s Out: Salah, Szczesny, Totti, Vermaelen, Grenier, Paredes (95%), Manolas (95%), Mario Rui (60%), Doumbia (95%), Rudiger (70%), Vainqueur (85%), Gerson (90%), Skorupski (80%)
Transfer Targets: Seri (50%), Deuloufeu (20%), Donsah (30%), Sirigu (15%), Karsdorp (70%),

Transfer Summary: Hector Moreno is not the ideal substitute for Manolas, but is still a solid addition to an already sound squad. Signing Seri from Nice would make Roma’s midfield one of the best in Europe and could even poise them as serious title contenders. They should also consider signing younger and more inexpensive players like Donsah and Kasdorp. They will need to address Salah’s departure with a quality, established winger and a backup striker to Dzeko. It is vital that Roma keep investing if they want to continue being serious about winning a Scudetto. If not, they run the risk of being overrun by teams like Juve, Napoli and Milan who have shown their willingness to splash the cash.

Manolas (pictured) is a rock defensively for Roma. Will he stay, or depart?


Who’s In: D. Zapata, Zúñiga, Grassi, de Guzman, Lasicky, Luperto, Dezi, Ghahoré , R. Insigne, Bifulco, Dumitru
Who’s Out: Ghoulam (70%), Pavoletti (70%), Albiol (20%), Zapata (80%)
Transfer Targets: Castro (50%), Mario Lui (20%), Masina (20%) Moreno (20%), Marchetti (15%)

Transfer Summary: Last season showed us that Napoli are only a couple of players away from challenging Juventus as the best team in Italy. So far, they have had few links with transcendent players, but it is still early. They must sign a partner for Koulibaly and another midfielder to go along with their potent attacking three. Diawara seems like an excellent prospect who, if partnered with an experienced central midfielder, can become world class. The team has not been linked with any superstar signings, but if they are able to sign three or four quality youngsters, the future looks bright for the southern giants.

Senegalese player Kalidou Koulibaly (left) needs more help if they hope to keep him.


Who’s In: Vitor Hugo, Milenkovic, Bruno Gaspar, Rebic, Lezzerini, Venuti, Diks, Matí Fernandez, Petriccione, Baez, Vlahovic
Who’s Out: Gonzalo Rodríguez, De Maio, Salcedo, Tello, Valero (90%), Kalinić (50%) Bernardeschi (60%)
Transfer Targets: Berenguer (30%), Palacio (15%), Kucka (20%), Torreira (15%), Abdou Diallo (30%), Politano (20%)

Transfer Summary: The transfer window for Fiorentina has not exactly been something to rave about. While they have added some decent pieces to their roster like Gaspar and Hugo, these are surely not the signings that will push the team into consistent European contention. The departures of Rodriguez and Tello must be addressed, as they were two vital parts of the team last season. Furthermore, there are rumors that Borja Valero and Bernardeschi might be leaving for greener pastures and if this is the case, Fiorentina might find themselves in trouble next season. Defense is where the team still needs the most help and a player like Angelo Ogbonna from West Ham or Francesco Acerbi from Sassuolo could be an inexpensive, quality signing.

Borja Valero (pictured) is a candidate to leave Fiorentina this summer.


Who’s In: Mauricio, Cataldi, Morrison, Kishna, Guerrieri, Germoni, Marchi, Minala, Ronaldo, Palombi, Oikonomidis
Who’s Out: Berisha (Atalanta) Biglia (70%), Morrison (85%), Mauricio (80%), Kishna (80%), Keita (65%), De Vrij (15%)
Transfer Targets: Papu Gomez (70%), Andrea Petagna (15%), Borini (70%), Luiz Gustavo (10%), Jordy Clasie (25%), Mariano Díaz (25%), Defrel (15%), Lapadula (10%), Widmer (50%), Gonalons (30%), Moutinho (10%), Muriel (40%), De Roon (15%), Simeone (10%)

Transfer Summary: This transfer window could be a very frustrating one for Lazio fans. Two of Lazio’s most impressive players last season, Keita and Biglia appear to be on the move and their replacements are not the big names some fans would have wanted to hear. Gomez could be a good signing, but his age and price does indeed pose some questions. On the other hand, there is no clear replacement for Biglia. It seems that Lazio is only signing to replace and not to improve the squad as it is. I suggest that Lazio keep Keita and sell Anderson and Biglia. These two sales should fund a new young midfielder and winger. A new goalkeeper would also greatly benefit the team, given Marchetti’s form and injury history as of late.

Biglia (pictured) appears to be out the door for Lazio.



Cameroon Wins African Cup of Nations in Unlikely Fashion

When Joel Matip, Allan Nyom, Andre Onana and Ibrahim Amadou all decided to snub their call-up to the Cameroon national soccer team, many immediately wrote off the indomitable lions as possible contenders. Fast-forward a month, and Cameroon find themselves champions of Africa for the fifth time in their history. Exactly how did this happen without such key pieces? With the likes of Ghana, Egypt, Senegal, Gabon and the Ivory Coast all breathing down the lions’ necks, how could a nation that was seen (on paper) to be less talented manage to win the African Cup of Nations?

It is fair to say that almost every soccer tournament brings about surprises in one form or another, along with just as many disappointments. The AFCON is no exception. This year was particularly disappointing for the Ivory Coast, who was looking to win back to back titles. With the likes of Aurier, Baily, Zaha, Kalou, Seri and Kessié there was no shortage of star power on this team, yet Michele Dussuyer’s men were unable to win a single game and bowed out of the tournament in the group stage. Not only is this one of the biggest early exits of the year, but it is also one of the most surprising ones in AFCON history.


Ghana and Senegal had more success than the Ivory Coast and managed to easily pass into the knock-out round, yet failed to improve as the tournament went on. Both squads were eliminated before the final by the eventual tournament winners. The host nation, Gabon, was another big disappointment despite having a superstar striker in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The two most surprising teams might have been Cameroon and Burkina Faso. Cameroon finished the tournament victorious with what many deemed as the worst Cameroonian team in a generation, while the latter managed a respectable third place finish. Analyzing these two teams in particular brings us to the realization of how similar these two teams were in their approach, and it showed through their ultimate success in the tournament.

Burkina Faso lost one of their most important players when Johnathan Pitroipa injured himself early on in the tournament. Nevertheless, the team seemed to rally closer together and show great resilience, losing only to a talented Egyptian squad in the semifinals after an intense penalty shootout.


It becomes evident that tournaments like the AFCON do not rely so heavily on natural talent and skill, but rather on team chemistry and hunger to go as far as possible. Looking at the 2014 Cameroonian world cup team, it may seem that they were a far better team at the time, with numerous high profile players including Samuel Eto’o and Alex Song. That team ended up being an embarrassment to Cameroon, while this year’s team did what many thought was impossible. On one hand, the nation of Cameroon should be proud of their achievement and what Hugo Bross managed to do with relative no-names. On the other hand, we come to wonder when an African team will be able to combine talent and team chemistry to properly challenge European and South American powerhouses. Then and only then will African nations be seen as threats and contenders for the World Cup.