From Giovinco To Pazzini: Top 10 Serie A Transfers
It’s been a big off-season for Italy’s Serie A with Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaving AC Milan, while several veterans such as Alessandro Del Piero, Alessandro Nesta and Filippo Inzaghi also finished up, suggesting we’re in for a newlook 2012-13 campaign.
Here’s Sports Pundit’s top 10 off-season transfers;
Vincenzo Montella’s Fiorentina have shown some ambition this off-season following Riccardo Montolivo’s free transfer exit with a bundle of signings, including the 27-year-old Spanish winger who joins the club after suffering relegation at Villarreal. La Viola have spent 7 million euros on the Spaniard who has long been hyped.
The Colombian central defender returns to Italy after, along with Valero, suffering relegation with the Yellow Submarine. The 25-year-old enjoyed several successful seasons with Udinese earlier in his career but stepping up to Milan is a bold move. Milan will hope he can released the departed Alessandro Nesta, and have an option to sign him permanently if he impresses.
The former AS Roma midfielder officially returns to Italy, after loan spells with Juventus and AC Milan in the past two seasons following a failed move to the Reds. Aquilani has joined Fiorentina on a deal worth 7 million euros, so they have high hopes for him. At 28-years-old, he should be in his peak years after a few troubled seasons.
Inter have underlined their efforts to push for the title with the signing of Slovenia international goalkeeper Handanovic for 11 million euros from Udinese. Handanovic has been handed the number one shirt at Inter, with veteran Julio Cesar’s future unclear. If the Slovenian can boost their defensive record, they can challenge again.
Balzaretti is late bloomer who shone during the 2012 European Championships as Italy went all the way to the final. The 30-year-old Turin-born left-back has opted to move to the capital after four-and-a-half impressive years in Sicily. Balzaretti darting down the flank will be a feature at the Stadio Olimpico next term.
Last season, the Old Lady landed a veteran from Milan who guided them to the title. His name was Andrea Pirlo and 12 months later they’ve followed a similar path in drafting in Brazilian centre-half Lucio after he was let go by Inter. The 34-year-old may be getting on in age, but he’s a player who has had a lot of success, winning the World Cup, Bundesliga, Serie A and Coppa Italia titles. He’ll solidify Juve’s backline.
The 28-year-old’s moves across town was only completed earlier this week, as he traded places with Antonio Cassano. Former Sampdoria and Fiorentina striker Pazzini only managed 19 goals in his two seasons with Inter, but is a player who can be prolific when given regular opportunities, as most will remember his 2009-10 season with Sampdoria when they finished fourth. With Cassano, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Filippo Inzaghi gone, Pazzini may get his opportunities.
Milan boss Max Allegri confirmed the free transfer deal for Italy international Montolivo back in May, stating he is a “very talented player with great technique”. The 27-year-old midfielder followed up the move by impressing at Euro 2012, although he was anonymous in the final, leaving a question mark on his ability at the elitest level. Fiorentina will be sad to lose him, but moving to Milan is a career-defining challenge for him.
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder sealed his return to Turin in June, signing a deal with Juve until 2015. Giovinco had a wonderful 2011-12 campaign with midtable Parma, contributing 15 goals and 11 assists to be one of Serie A’s best players despite his club’s struggles. Whether Giovinco will be able to re-produce that at a big club where competition for places is rife, is a big question which the new season will answer soon enough.
As previously mentioned, the enigmatic Cassano sealed his switch from the Rossoneri to the Nerazzurri earlier this week in exchange for Pazzini and 7 million euros. The 30-year-old may have done well with Italy at Euro 2012 and have a huge reputation but he struggled to get out on the park regularly in the past two seasons with AC Milan, scoring on seven league goals for the club. Inter, though, have faith in him as they continue to search for a new star striker to replace the now long-departed Samuel Eto’o. Rodrigo Palacio, who has joined from Genoa, will partner Cassano up front too.
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