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Serie A – The transfer window so far

Serie A has already seen a host of movement occur this transfer window, with virtually all of the big players strengthening their squads. In previous campaigns the cash has been somewhat lacking in Italy however this opening period indicates that Serie A clubs are now once again in a position to compete with the rest of Europe’s elite financially.

Juventus the champions of the previous two campaigns have been particularly busy, with strikers Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente the most notable of their captures to date – as they look to not only push closer to the Champions League but also fend off an improving chasing back. Undoubtedly the Old Lady were the strongest side last year, winning the title by nine points – however their top scorer Mirko Vucinic finished just 23rd in the Serie A goalscoring charts, which highlights an obvious area for improvement. That is not to say they did score goals for their overall total was only bettered by two sides, however entering another season without a genuine 20 goal a striker would have been a huge risk.

Both Tevez and Llorente have the potential to be the solution to the striker problem. Llorente was a largely wasted talent last season due to his impending departure from Bilbao, however returns of 17 and 18 goals respectively in the previous two years highlight his threat. Tevez in recent years for a variety of reasons has only showed his best form in fleeting glimpses, nevertheless on his day the Argentine is amongst the world’s best and if Antonio Conte can get the high maintenance striker ticking then he could be the missing piece of the jigsaw. The Old Lady have also snapped up five other players to further strengthen their grip on the division, with defender Angelo Ogbonno the most eye catching of these.

For Napoli last terms runners up this has been a window of much change, with Rafael Benitez appointed as manager and then star man Edinson Cavani leaving for PSG. The Naples outfit though have been quick to replace the man who topped the scoring charts last season by some way, with Gonzalo Higuain the man tasked to fill those rather large shoes. The Argentine though certainly has goals in him, given an impressive return of 107 in 190 games for Real Madrid – therefore making him a formidable replacement. Whether he can fully fill the void of the once worshipped Cavani remains to be seen but Higuain definitely has the ability to be a huge hit. Joining him in Naples are five other new faces, with Benitez again using his connections to snap up Spanish pair Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon. Dries Mertens, yet another promising Belgium has arrived from PSV and should add further extra goal threat.

Fiorentina having narrowly missed out on Champions League football last season have reacted by splashing the cash, in an effort to not only claim a place in Europe’s premier competition but also make a surprise title bid. Mario Gomez is their marque signing and the hope will be that he can be the natural goalscorer that the Florence club lacked last term – like Juventus they missed a prolific marksmen, with their highest scorer offering just 13. Gomez is certainly a natural finisher and having been rather harshly cast aside by Bayern Munich despite a superb record will be keen to prove a point. Josip Ilicic is another player who should enhance Fiorentina, whilst given that the Slovenian has for a number of years now been one of Italy’s most consistent performers with Palermo he should have no problems adapting. Another player who will fit in seamlessly is Massimo Ambronsini, at 36 he is no spring chicken but his experience could prove an invaluable asset in the Viola’s push for Champions League football.

Despite missing out to Juventus by 15 points last term Milan has been relatively quiet in terms of big name signings, although midfieler Andrea Poli and Colombian defender Cristian Zapata will both add depth to their squad. With the rest of the league clawing back the advantage Milan had last term in regards to goal scoring strikers, AC are likely to need further investment if they are to maintain their second place position or better it.

As ever Roma has been significant spenders, with the likes of Gervinho, Kevin Strootman and Mehdi Benatia all being brought in for a significant amount of cash. Strootman was one of the most highly touted players of the window and should add undoubted class to Rudi Garcia’s side, however with the other transfers there is a feeling of signings for the sake of it. Further to that whilst Roma look strong going forward they are issues at the back, with their 56 goals conceded the second worst in the top 14 – these signings as glamorous as they are, are unlikely to improve that alarming stat.

Inter Milan after a woeful season last term that saw them finish in a lowly tenth have put their hopes in South Americans – with five of their six imports thus far hailing from this region. They should have no problem settling in given the already high South American contingent, however with a large proportion of these imports on the youthful side it’s difficult to see them having a significant impact on Serie A just yet. Lazio after a solid campaign last term have made some sound acquisitions including Lucas Biglia, who finally gets a move after several months of trying to manufacture a way out of Anderlecht. Highly rated young Brazilian midfielder Felipe Anderson joins from Santos, a player whom Lazio will hope can follow the success of fellow Brazilian Hernanes. One final transfer of note is veteran Antonio Cassano, who with his health problems behind him could have a storming season as the lynch pin with new club Parma.