x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

The movers and shakers in Italian football

Transfers, teams and players to watch this Serie A season.

Fiorentina's Mario Gomez.
Fiorentina's Mario Gomez.

TRANSFERS

Juventus

In: Carlos Tevez, from Manchester City, €9m; Fernando Llorente, from Athletic Bilbao, free

Napoli

In: Gonzalo Higuain, from Real Madrid, €37m; Raul Albiol, from Real Madrid, €12m; Dries Mertens, from PSV, €9.7m; Jose Callejon, from Real Madrid, €9.5m

Out: Edinson Cavani, to PSG, €64.5m

AC Milan

In: Mathias Silvestre, loan from Inter

Out: Massimo Ambrosini, to Fiorentina, free; Matthieu Flamini, released; Bojan Krkic, loan completed.

Fiorentina

In: Mario Gomez, from Bayern Munich, €15.5m; Josep Ilicic, from Palermo, €9m

Out: Stevan Jovetic, to Man City, €26m

Roma

In: Kevin Strootman, from Feyenoord, €16.5m; Mehdi Benatia, from Udinese, €13.5m; Gervinho, from Arsenal, €8m

Out: Marquinhos, to PSG, €31.4m; Bojan, to Barcelona, €13m, Pablo Osvaldo, to Southampton €17.5m

Inter

In: Mauro Icardi, from Sampdoria, €6

Lazio

In: Felipe, from Santos, €8.2m

 

THE NUMBERS

10

The Serie A season will witness a record number of genuine city derbies, 10, with the promotion of Verona. The Veronese will relish taking on Chievo, whom they regard as upstart neighbours. Genoa-Sampdoria, Juventus-Torino, Inter-AC Milan and Lazio-Roma are the other urban rivalries on the calendar.

29
For all their domestic supremacy, with their 29 scudetti, Juventus have not achieved three successive league titles since 1935. If they win this one, they have a back-to-back trio.

 

THREE TEAMS TO WATCH

Fiorentina

They were not far off third place, and the last ticket into the Champions League in May, and though they have lost Stevan Jovetic, they have added shrewd additions, players to fit their attacking style.

Udinese

The “Zebrette” were the team with the best form for the last quarter of the 2012/13 campaign. They can be trusted to unleash some promising youngsters, but still rely on the goals of veteran Antonio Di Natale.

Genoa

Finished one place off relegation last term. Things can get only better under Fabio Liverani. Francesco Lodi pulls strings in midfield and striker Alberto Gilardino hopes to revive his international career.

 

FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH

Carlos Tevez

A goal in the Super Cup win over Lazio represented a promising start for the Argentinian at Juventus, who have signed a player with a difficult reputation from Manchester City. He will need to earn his place in the first XI with the champions, but as long as he conforms to the authority of coach Antonio Conte, his work should be appreciated.

Walter Mazzarri

The sixth appointment as coach of Inter Milan since they won the treble in 2010, Mazzarri is recommended by his excellent work at Napoli over the past four years. He inherits a squad with flaws, however, and with far less of the epic spending power of Serie A’s boom years. He will want – and may need - a top-three finish.

Lorenzo Insigne

The Neapolitan, 22, developing as a crowd favourite at his hometown club, has an opportunity to replace the departed Edinson Cavani as the hero of the San Paolo. But the additions of other attacking players – Gonzalo Higuain, Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon – put him under pressure, too, in his first Champions League season.

Giuseppe Rossi

The Azzurri striker is still coming back from the long-term injury that put his career on hold for over a year, so there is an element of risk in Fiorentina’s decision to sign him from Villarreal for €10 million (Dh49.2m) in January. Only 26, if he returns to his best, he can be a bright spark for a free-flowing side and a very useful member of Italy’s 2014 squad.

Gervinho

Roma have lost the fiery striker Osvaldo and gained an enigmatic footballer. Gervinho, who had two largely disappointing seasons at Arsenal, will hope the reunion with his former coach at Lille, Rudi Garcia, can reawaken the confidence, dazzling dribbles and elegant creativity that make Gervinho so watchable on his good days.