Arguably, very few sides have been closer to deserving a place in the Champions League over the past few seasons than Lazio. In the 2017-18 season, the club missed out on fourth spot after a devastating loss to Inter on the final day of the season, whilst the last campaign ended in a bittersweet manner, finishing eighth in Serie A whilst lifting the Coppa Italia trophy.
This summer, however, the club have made several huge leaps in the right direction, as Simone Inzaghi, Igli Tare and Claudio Lotito, as well as the rest of the upper management at the club, prepare to tackle the new season head-on.
Firstly, the club have made some important signings. The right-sided centre-back Denis Vavro appears to be a solid acquisition, although without any Serie A experience, or experience in a top division at that, fans will be waiting with baited breath to see if he can settle in quickly. Vavro was an important addition because he adds some solidity and depth to the back-line, after injuries and suspensions have left the Biancocelesti in a spot of bother on more than one occasion in the past few seasons.
Another key signing this summer is Spanish left-winger Jony. There was a lot of controversy around the deal and, at one point, it looked to have several spanners in the works. However, Lazio managed to complete the signing of the former Malaga winger, who was instrumental for Deportivo Alaves on loan last season. What Jony offers Lazio on the left-hand side is a crossing ability that was not necessarily possessed by the likes of Senad Lulic who, although a talented player, often struggled to deliver a great final ball.
Similarly, but arguably more importantly, Lazio managed to beat away competition from Atalanta and Roma to complete the signing of SPAL’s right wing-back Manuel Lazzari. He registered eight assists in 33 games for the Ferrara side last season. Lazzari is a proven creator and one who surpasses the likes of Adam Marusic in terms of ability. Additionally, Lazzari helps add to the Italian core of the club that has been added to in recent years, with Marco Parolo, Francesco Acerbi and Ciro Immobile, amongst others, all serving as instrumental to the club’s progress.
Lazio completed some bit-part signings, such as Bobby Adekanye arriving from Liverpool and Gustavo Cipriano joining the club’s primavera side from Brazilian side Santos FC. However, the club are still in the market for one or two more purchases to help bolster the squad.
Interestingly, Lazio also strengthened their side by keeping a hold of some players that they were, according to reports, expected to lose this summer. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic aside, whose future looks to be still hanging in the balance with heavy-handed interest from Manchester United, the Biancocelesti kept Joaquin Correa, Ciro Immobile, Luis Alberto and Thomas Strakosha, despite interest from other sides that could have jeopardised their positions at the club.
All in all, it is an exciting time to be a Laziale.