Friday February 1 2019
Transfer window winners and losers

We saw some familiar faces return to Serie A and a few very surprising moves, so Anthony Barbagallo picks apart the January bargains and break-ups.

Milan probably had to be the ultimate winners from this transfer window. It was one of the most productive ones for the Rossoneri in recent times, prioritising quality over quantity. Sending an inconsistent and jaded Gonzalo Higuain to Chelsea proved to be fruitful.

Snapping up Krzysztof Piatek for €35m from Genoa seemed risky at first, but after the Pole’s brace against Napoli in the Coppa Italia, the 23-year-old doesn't need to convince the critics on his ability performing for a bigger club. Piatek’s clinical display in front of goal seemed to be the start of a new chapter for Milan – indicating that the Rossoneri may have discovered the heir to Andriy Shevchenko. Get ready Milanisti, more pistolero celebrations incoming. 

Another significant move that was carefully and intelligently orchestrated by Leonardo was the appointment of Brazilian youngster Lucas Paqueta. The €35m signing from Flamengo has looked promising in the Rossoneri shirt so far. With some Italian pundits and Milan supporters dubbing the 21-year-old the new Kaka, the technical midfielder seems to be living up to this expectation in a pressured environment. Paqueta has already injected further creativity in this Milan side – stringing exquisite passes, taking audacious long-range shots on goal and dribbling in a Samba fashion.

Fiorentina were one of the clubs that also benefited from the transfer window. With Giovanni Simeone struggling to maintain consistency, the Viola immediately decided to invest in another forward who could deliver more goals on a regular basis, as well as complement Federico Chiesa up front.

After getting very little game time for Sevilla, Luis Muriel didn’t hesitate in joining the Gigliati. The Colombian’s return to Italy has been a spectacular one so far – netting three goals in his first two Serie A appearances and scoring in the 7-1 rout of Roma in the Coppa Italia. The addition of Muriel has supplied extra dynamism to the frontline – bringing the best out of Chiesa and Simeone. Since Muriel’s arrival in Florence, the Viola have scored 16 goals in their last four competitive games.

Despite playing some captivating attacking football under Marco Giampaolo, Sampdoria invested in the forward line this transfer window. The Blucerchiati may boast Fabio Quagliarella – Serie A’s current top goalscorer – but the Gianluca Caprari injury prompted Samp to sign Manolo Gabbiadini from Southampton for €12m. Re-joining Sampdoria has seen glimpses of the vintage Gabbiadini – the hungrier and energised version.

Ever since the 27-year-old striker left Marassi back in 2015, Gabbiadini looked jaded in his time with Napoli and Southampton in the English Premier League. But after scoring his first goal as a substitute against Udinese in the last round of Serie A, Gabbiadini looks full of energy once again, but most importantly, that smile etched across his face is back.

Another vital move Sampdoria made was having activated the option to purchase Emil Audero for €20m at the end of the season. The Indonesian-born Italian goalkeeper has kept eight clean sheets so far this term, which is why the Ligurian club have decided to invest in his talent on a permanent basis.

Juventus this time around had a mixed transfer window – one that probably left more negative effects. Selling Medhi Benatia to Qatari club Al-Duhail is a move Juve will regret at this moment. With Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci out injured, the injury crisis in the centre-back position has sounded some early alarm bells in the Bianconeri’s recent performances. And now with Giorgio Chiellini picking up a fresh injury against Atalanta, Juve’s backline has only worsened.

The Old Lady may be getting Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey at the end of the season to solve the midfield predicament, but in reality, Juventus need a playmaker at this very moment to help Miralem Pjanic, especially if they want to claim the elusive Champions League trophy.

Sassuolo encountered a strange, yet worrying, transfer window. Handing their star forward Kevin-Prince Boateng to Barcelona may currently not be affecting the Neroverdi, as they have other strikers like Alessandro Matri and Khouma Babacar, but it has eliminated a talented and experienced option up front. 

Although Roma managed to keep their star players and youngsters – which is unusual for a change – the Giallorossi could have been more proactive in addressing their defensive concerns. The Lupi should have persisted in gaining Gianluca Mancini’s signature, especially to help out Kostas Manolas in the chaotic backline.

Inter might have missed an ideal opportunity to sign a playmaker, as the Nerazzurri haven’t scored from open play in three consecutive games. What’s more frightening is that Mauro Icardi hasn’t scored from open play since the Champions League game against PSV last year. There has been a lack of service for the Argentine striker, who cannot keep relying on penalties to win Inter games. With the current Nerazzurri’s midfielders lacking creativity, it’s surprising how Inter didn’t even pursue the likes of Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil.

While some Italian sides benefited from their transfer purchases, those couple of clubs that failed to invest in any reinforcements are now facing the consequences on the pitch.

Have your say...
@ Jeremy Why specifically is it foreigners? Are you saying that a team can sign 10-15 Italians each season and that won't cause any disruption? And let me guess you've got the same answer for how to fix all of the problems in the world. How very Trump.
on the 5th February, 2019 at 11:17pm
Maldini heir
The quickest and best thing Serie A could do is stop buying forgeiners. This would sort out Italy and Serie A.
Resolved in 2 lines.
on the 4th February, 2019 at 10:59pm
Victor being a narcissist again.
on the 4th February, 2019 at 2:27pm
@ Jeremy Some people complain about refs favouring Juve. That is not something I think is a thing. Some people complain about a lack of money. That is not something that anyone can do anything about. My "fix" for Serie A is really quite simple - stop constantly changing the squads. It is something that a team like Milan could do tomorrow. Go all out to keep the existing players and only sign 1 or 2 key players. Simple.
on the 4th February, 2019 at 12:39am
@Maldini heir
Italy is one of the most corrupt places in the world you're the only shocked person on here.
Your really do need to change the record though. Football has clearly effected you. I have read your comments for years you seem to have slumpted into a miserble pit depression.
I too used to be effected by football but then I started reading Viktors comments and in him I found that there really are some very troubled and deluded individuals in this world; I will always better than him!
on the 3rd February, 2019 at 11:05am
I admit to missing the old days of serie a many of mates make the point they get fed up because of the player changes they don't know the players. In the 90s or early 2000s it was normal for a player to spend 10 years at a club you think of the likes of ambrosini tomassi tacchinardi moreno mannini who started out elsewhere came into a team and stayed. where as these days the likes of chiellini maganelli pellissier hamsik radu are the exception. times change it is happening in every league
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 11:42pm
@Anony firstly the word recruit as stated in the in oxford dictionary "Enrol (someone) as a member or worker in an organization or as a supporter of a cause"

secondly please milan have 6 former primavera players in their team with abate plizzari donnarummas calabria and cutrone they do develop players.

thirdly if they was the case every large serie a team for the last 30 years is guilty of destroying the league. genoa is also guilty having paid 4.5 million when krakow spent 05 on paitek.
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 11:27pm
Atalanta might not have done a great deal of business in the transfer window, but, it cannot be understated the importance of the work they have done to KEEP so many talented players when high bids were being made for them. Hopefully this will be paid off at the end of the season with European football again.
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 10:52pm
@paolo "milan have recruited two players..." Your definition of the word recruit is very skewed. Milan did not recruit piatek. They paid 600% more than Genoa did for the same player 6 months later. that is not recruiting. that is spending big on proven talent. and that is what is truly ruining serie a, @maldini'sheir. Milan, Juve and Inter just pry away all of the other teams best players with their treasure chests of money, which ac doesnt have. bringing down the overall competition of the leag
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 8:43pm

How cute... you actually think that piatek is actually going to solve the systemic problems of the joke that is AC Milan. You actually think that Milan will be able to compete in any european competition should they somehow qualify? FFP will come down on them at some point and the carousel of talent that your joke of a club can't seem to manage will end. BAN MILAN!
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 8:37pm
You know what else bugs me? The sky is too blue.
And don't even get me started started on gravity. Why's it always gotta pull ya down all the time? Sometimes I just wanna float away, y'know?
I won't rest until there is a full investigation on this corrupt gravity business.
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 8:07pm
Agree with @Maldini's too many transfers all around it feels like stock market.
@Victor Piatek need to prove to be a better transfer then Muriel, who is a proved goal scorer in SerieA, so yeah as things stand he is a better deal then Piatek, or at least a safer one.
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 12:31pm
@ All the moaners complaining about me moaning.....I'll stop when there's a full investigation into the corruption of the football transfer system which seems particularly prevalent in Serie A. Glad everyone else enjoyed the shopping channel.
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 10:49am
As for milan they have recruited two exciting players who offer real improvement upon what is currently available and to honest make a lot more sense to the current stage of the project than some one like higuian. The same problems persist the team is fundamentally unbalanced full of bench warmers who have little to offer over the starting eleven the midfield is still non existent and some very vocal fans seem to think the solution to the problem is continuously sacking the manager
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 12:47am
Roma should be kicking themselves for not going for / getting Piatek. So now they’re still stuck with Schick who imo is a big let down. Too early but Milan could have pulled off a miracle turnaround.
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 12:36am
I am interested in bologna they have signed edera sansone soriano and lyanco on loan if they were able to get all 4 player longer than a couple of months there is the potential for a more competitive team.

It is hard to judge winners no serious team would sell quality players mid season making it more a window to recruit the brightest young players. Will that in mind it might take a couple of years to see who the winners of this mercato were.
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 12:34am
I think Maldini's Heir is trying to point out that the volume of transfers suggests a lack of consistency and stability among Serie A clubs, which is not helping them to gather the momentum needed to challenge further up the table.
Unfortunately the somewhat farcical contractual situation in football means that players can seemingly come and go at will, regardless of whether the clubs want it or not. And with other leagues being more cash rich, Serie A tends to lose out.
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 12:20am

How cute.. you actually think Muriel was a better deal than Piatek? Think before you write.
on the 2nd February, 2019 at 12:16am
@maldini heir
You are so boring do you ever stop moaning. I mean Milan buys a player you moan if they don't buy a player you moan. You just don't stop.
on the 1st February, 2019 at 11:54pm
Fiorentina easily won this mercato. Muriel scored two goals in his debut, one in the next v. chievo and one in the match v. Roma. Not to mention the price they are paying, 20M less than piatek. In addition, they signed Zurkowski, traore, rasmussen and offloaded Thereau who was on a massive wage relative to his contributions. On top of that they loaned out some of their youngsters to Serie A sides. Think before you write Football italia.
on the 1st February, 2019 at 6:56pm
@Maldini's heir ...i must admit I'm quite stunned by your clear and evaluated analytical skills. You sure do have the touch and foresight needed over there at football Italia unlike the plethora of pro-juventini who clearly do not understand the ethics of professionalism but remained sentimental and bias almost to obnoxiousness...
on the 1st February, 2019 at 4:52pm
@Maldini's Heir: Why are you always so negative on any article? Article after article, you come here to complain and moan, whatever be the subject. If football is affecting you and bringing you so much constant negativity, have you considered taking a break from it? Might do your health some good.
on the 1st February, 2019 at 3:54pm
I think bringing in Soriano and and Sansone was good business for Bologna, not sure if it will be enough to save the season though. Not to sure on the other transfers, woe how Verdi is missed :(.
on the 1st February, 2019 at 2:24pm
@Maldini's Heir here we go again, can we a month ever pass where you dont post this same comment over and over again, your becoming like a broken record, Milan had a good window, who cares about the other Serie A clubs
on the 1st February, 2019 at 2:10pm
what is really farcical situation i want to know. this piatek signing can change milan's entire direction. when after kalinic then silva and then higuain instead of inspiring found in misfiring hotheaded himself for milan. now you see the trick of january window. people say its unsettling i say the time is unsettling now. look at psg they really do need to sort out themselves at midfield after such an investment for forwards!. what is bullshitting was perisic offer, whooff!.
on the 1st February, 2019 at 1:57pm
suddenly stopped scoring at Milan. We'll put that down to one of those mysteries. Piątek seems to be doing well. Clearly he and Cutrone are going to cancel each other out so Milan will eventually have to choose one. More choices created by the never-ending-merry-go-round. Meanwhile Juve just carry on. 1 in/1 out. An experienced CB for an experienced CB. Onwards to a 7th in a row. Followed by an 8th. A 9th. A 10th? Is there any stopping Juve? Not until the transfers stop.
on the 1st February, 2019 at 11:51am
any other league) Serie A clubs decided that they needed to tweak some more. Like someone changing a pair of shoes. Lots and lots of shoes. What a farce. Some of the transfers weren't too bad. Milan seemed to do well out of the completely farcical situation with Higuain and Piatek both leaving their new clubs less than 6 months after they had signed. (6 months! Internships last longer than that). I mean let's not inquire as to how Higuain, a player whose scored at every club he's been at,
on the 1st February, 2019 at 11:47am
Excluding internal club transfers, there were 179 departures and 150 arrivals in Serie A. In contrast there were 49 departures and 33 arrivals in the Bundesliga, 69 departures and 64 arrivals in La Liga and 101 departures and 77 arrivals in the Premier League. Once again Serie A surpassed the other leagues. More disruption, more chaos, more re-sets, more horse trading, more total nonsense. Just a few months after the summer transfer window shut (where once again Serie A had more transfers than
on the 1st February, 2019 at 11:37am
Isco should be bought thius summer Juve!
on the 1st February, 2019 at 11:27am

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