Wednesday September 16 2020
Are Lazio doing enough?

Lazio have made some interesting additions in pre-season, breaking the mould of the Lotito era. Lee Bushe asks if they’re enough to sustain a Champions League challenge…

Over the past few years, there’s been a growing sense of dissatisfaction among Lazio fans regarding owner Claudio Lotito’s transfer policy. Indeed, the entrepreneur has earned a reputation of being frugal in the transfer market, while he hasn’t hesitated to cash-in on the Biancocelsti’s most important players either.

And yet, none of Lazio’s stars from last season’s historic campaign appear to be heading for the exit door, while they have spent €20m – among the highest fees paid for a player during the Lotito era – on a striker who will probably only function as back-up to Ciro Immobile.

The striker in question is Vedat Muriqi, who arrives in Rome on the back of two prolific seasons in the Turkish Super Lig, with Çaykur Rizespor and Fenerbahçe respectively. On the surface, it seems like he’ll be a more effective vice-Immobile than Felipe Caicedo, with the 32-year-old never exactly a regular goalscorer for the Biancocelesti.

Muriqi will hopefully the first of two new acquisitions for Lazio this week, with SPAL’s Mohamed Fares close to completing his move to the club. Though an unpolished talent, Fares has experience of playing in Simone Inzaghi’s preferred 3-5-2 formation and has flourished at left-wing-back, a position that Lazio desperately needed filling.

Senad Lulic was Lazio’s first-choice left-wing-back, but at 34 his best days now seem to be behind him, especially taking into consideration that’s he’s been suffering with a long-term injury. In his absence, Jony has struggled to adapt to the role while Jordan Lukaku has proved too inconsistent and injury-prone to be relied upon.

In addition to Muriqi and Fares, Lazio have added strength in depth in the form of central midfielder Gonzalo Escalante and goalkeeeper Pepe Reina. Escalante arrived following the conclusion of his contract at Eibar, where he spent five years playing regular La Liga football. Meanwhile, ex-Liverpool and Napoli stopper Reina offers a wealth of Serie A and Champions League experience and is a more than capable back-up for Thomas Strakosha.

Despite all of these new arrivals, it still doesn’t seem like it’ll be enough for Lazio to simultaneously compete in Serie A and the Champions League next season. Inzaghi really needs another central defender to start alongside Luiz Felipe and Francesco Acerbi, with Stefan Radu getting older and Patric, Denis Vavro and Bastos not quite at the standards required for a top-four club. A back-up second striker will also be required, in the case of an injury to Joaquin Correa.

In short, while there have been clear upgrades on some players within the squad, there is still some work to be done before the transfer deadline in three weeks. Lazio’s dismal end to last season – after seeming invincible for so long – shows improvements are needed to sustain themselves as a top-four club. But Lotito seems to have adapted his transfer policy somewhat, and with that, there is optimism that he can make those additions and in the long-term, establish Lazio as regulars in the Champions League.

Have your say...
@Maki Pizza
The Twitter account for LazioLand is being run by the almighty Maki himself. Some of the familiar faces are there. Though, I know you're not into social media much :)
on the 18th September, 2020 at 4:31pm
Massive Lazio fan My real aim is top 4 finish Last 16 or quarter Finals in Champions League Coppa Italia semi finals or final. I don't want one season champions league qualification i want regular qualification and with extra cash try to upgrade squad and try Scudetto again.
on the 18th September, 2020 at 2:16pm
@Hamid; Haha, you are the one and only! Good to see a familiar LazioLand face, I sometimes saw ilsempre comment on things on here too. It's a real shame the forum disappeared, I keep hoping Cathal or one of the team will get it going again. When the Ermetico left the building it seemed to be almost written in the stars that the forum's time was up. Even Maki himself has no presence now, a succesful agent but under the radar. Anyway, forza Lazio as always! Best wishes, Ed, although you knew that!
on the 18th September, 2020 at 11:40am
on the 18th September, 2020 at 3:55am
after missing david silva, I had pessimism over lazio. they badly needed marquee player after what they showed post covid performance. they clearly can't play every 3 days,and what they buy so far is what an average serie a team will do. my prediction is that lazio will crash out of cl and then get 6th/7th place in serie a. I hope they will prove me wrong.

the only hope is coppa italia.
on the 17th September, 2020 at 7:27am
@totti - you are correct, inter could have beaten us last season but they had their own issues too incluidng a lot of injuries. This season will be interesting - nobody knows what Pirlo is going to do. Inter have brought in Hakimi - their biggest postion weakness last year, can they also fix the other side? They also have a strong bench when last season the options were limited. The usual jan crash also coincided with Barella, Broz, Sensi all injured, valero was their best mid during this time!!
on the 17th September, 2020 at 3:34am
"Breaking the mould of the Lotito era"?

Not really. The transfers are pretty much what you'd expect from him.

Muriqi is a risk at 20m, coming from Turkey, but he seems to have a good attitude (not afraid to get stuck in and work), and he might work out.

They need a CB too, because that defence will be exposed in the CL.

Top 4 and Last 16 of the CL/or latter stages of the EL seem to be the limit for the current squad.

If they get a proper CB, they can aim higher.
on the 17th September, 2020 at 1:48am
Please, don't insult Napoli comparing them to Roma:
- Napoli just signed Osimhen for 70M.
- When they sold Cavani for 65M, they paid 40M for proven Higuain (Not 10M & 7M for two unproven youngsters).
- After 6 years Koulibaly is STILL in Naples!
- Napoli wanted to buy Alisson for 65M but he preferred 'Pool.
- Napoli will sell their broken bench player with only a year left on his contract to their money-stripped rivals for 25M.
- Their Frog-faced president would rather die than deal with Juve!
on the 17th September, 2020 at 12:52am
Milik is a good player... But never on Dzeko's level!
Worse: he's always injured.
Has buying Perotti, Pastore, Karsdorp, Spina... taught you nothing, Roma??
Now you go for Milik, Sciglio, Pedro..?


When a 24-year old Cassanno didn't want to prolong expiring contract, Roma sold him to Real... FORM 5 MIL!!!

Why is Roma helping that frog from Neaples is even worse question:
Roma can only annoy Juve, the real competitor is Napoli (for CL places.)
Let Milik rot on their bench.
on the 17th September, 2020 at 12:20am
1. The year to dethrone Juve was THIS SEASON that just finished! Juve played blindfolded, on one leg & STILL took the league. UNBELIEVABLE --we should be ashamed!
Now, Giorgio is back.., they got Edin & PIRLO...
Only Inter will fight them (until January. LOL)

2. Napoli didn't help them, Juve paid a clause. It was Higuain's decision.

They're helping Napoli as well!
Taking Milik off them for 25M ...who can be signed in 6 months FOR FREE!!
on the 17th September, 2020 at 12:05am
... Why in the world would Roma strengthen not just a rival but a team who always seems to win because situations on and off the pitch are conveniently right for them. WHY help them.Napoli helped them with Higuain and Roma with Pjanic in the past. It doesn't happen in PL and guess what happen they manage to get different winners from time to time.At least Lazio are proud enough to hold on to their stars and not become Juve feeders from season to season unlike Roma and Napoli.
on the 16th September, 2020 at 10:02pm
I hope Atalanta can get another good CL group draw otherwise their Cinderella story will come to an end very shortly.What I don't understand is why Roma are directly helping Juve to complete one piece of the puzzle which will be their version of getting out of jail card for them. The missing piece is Dzeko and I can already see him scoring winning goals because Ronaldo and Dybala will be trash in 3-5-2 formation or any other variation of that.It's clear Pirlo will emulate Conte so.....
on the 16th September, 2020 at 9:47pm
If there was a season to end Juve dominance in Italy then it's this season. Lazio clearly shows that they are not interested to challenge for anything other than top 4 so they'll do whatever they can to SHAMEFULLY get themselves out of the CL and do the same in the EL if they UNFORTUNATELY end up there.While Atalanta are just having fun with no real intention for anything serious because I believe sometimes you need to play ugly as long as you get the results with minimal risks.
on the 16th September, 2020 at 9:35pm
lazio have already missed out on their primary targets so they have already failed in their recruitment of players.

in addition lazio team is paper thin they did seriously well last season to get 78 points given their limitations. you think of immobile pretty much scored half of lazio total goal tally in the league.

in addition they are dependant on veterans to play 30 to 40 games a season. i don't see why they don't sign fares as back up to lulic or go for izzo as backup for acerbi
on the 16th September, 2020 at 9:07pm
FI, seriously, stop it! HAHAHAHA

How come no Juventini are commenting on getting the amazing Dzekooooooo??

- Roma can't afford having Milik earning 5 mil as a sub.
- PES is already marketing Roma without Dzeko.
- Juve is adding (always-broken) De Sciglio to lower Edin's price.

Dzeko is basically already a Juve player!
I would love to hear your opinion on him BEFORE he starts scoring goals (or flopping tremendously).

I hope I spelled "basically" & "tremendously" right! LOL
on the 16th September, 2020 at 8:55pm
Also "ROOSTER" instead of "ROSTER".

It's too early to predict, as teams will still change...
But I see Juve, Inter, Napoli getting CL spots.
IF Milan can keep their momentum (why wouldn't they) add them in as well. (I do expect injuries will hamper them.)

Atalanta & Lazio will suffer because of CL.
Crashing out as soon as possible, without entering EL, would help them in Serie A.

Roma will finish SEVERAL POINTS from fourth. Fonseca will lose his job before January.
on the 16th September, 2020 at 8:19pm
I think Lazio is the current top 4 club most likely to regress this season. The title is likely to be disputed between Juve and Inter, if at all. Atalanta has kept 95% of their squad and made some additions. Lazio will surely be stretched. Either they crash out of the CL early to sustain a top 4 challenge, or they end up outside the top 4 because of the effort spent in the CL. As somebody else said, they're not built to play every 3 days, and so far haven't shown they're building towards that.
on the 16th September, 2020 at 7:56pm
@Mak E Pizza: "No Italian team has really done well in Europe since Mourinho's Inter." And yet Inter made the CL final this past season and Juve mad the CL final twice in that time. So you have to win the final to do well in a competition?
on the 16th September, 2020 at 7:43pm

Did I seriously wrote "FOLL ME" instead of "FOOL ME"... TWICE???

(I hope FI didn't meddle with it. Though I doubt they'd do this... Even to a Juve/ Milan/ Inter basher like me. :) )
on the 16th September, 2020 at 7:22pm
Mak E Pizza,
It will be extremelly tough for Lazio --You'll need a favourable draw which will be unlikely.

Juve did amazing in CL under Allegri, don't listen to some weird Juventini (who prefer Conte, Sarri).

Juventus was TWICE IN FINALS!! & would surely reach 3 more had they advanced against:
- Incredible AJAX (2-3 on aggregate).
- REAL freakin' MADRID who only won (4-3 aggregate) after a penalty in stoppages.
- BAYER freakin' MÜNCHEN who won (6-4 aggregate) because of horrible ref mistakes!
on the 16th September, 2020 at 7:10pm
This new Roma is a disgrace.
I don' t have any identification, empathy or respect for them...

Luckily my love for Roma's badge/ colors will stay, so hopefully I will be able to return someday.

Friedkin should emulate Inter's Zhang or at least Napoli's ADL!
Instead he's following Pallotta's footsteps (being Juventus lackey, & now "helping" even Napoli, Inter ...and soon Milan!!!)

Well, I won't be here for this shameful self-destruction.
"Foll me once, shame on you. Foll me twice..."
on the 16th September, 2020 at 6:16pm

THANK GOD I will probably stop following Serie A & reading fan's comments after Roma exchanges Dzeko for that always injured, Napoli sub...

We identify with our clubs.
There's something that draws us to them, either because they are similar to us... or because they are opposite of us & allow us to roleplay (--experience being a Champion, right Juventini ;) )

MY ROMA didn't sell Totti, De Rossi when THE WHOLE WORLD craved them (Not just North Italy)!
MY ROMA bought players I was proud of!
on the 16th September, 2020 at 5:42pm
The best Lazio can hope for is to finish 3rd in the group and go into the Europa league and try and win that as Inter almost did last season. The truth is Lazio will be competing for 4th place this season not the title. They don't have the squad depth to compete in 3 competitions and i'd argue Napoli under Gattuso, Inter, Juve and now Milan are all on a par with or better than Lazio. They over achieved last year, Ciro won't score 36 league goals again
on the 16th September, 2020 at 5:14pm
If Roma, Napoli, Lazio, Udinese... are such disgraces...

That you won a Scudetto against "LOSERS" (who came in second, third, fourth...)?

That you could't qualify for CL because ALL these "losers" finished much higher up the table than you??


Just stop it!

So Lazio will get demolished by Bayern?
Roma, Milan, Napoli were too cowardly to go into CL!
on the 16th September, 2020 at 5:04pm
@Maki Pizza
Is there any other Hamid that you know in your life? :)
on the 16th September, 2020 at 4:50pm
2. Some of you are either extremelly immature (hopefully only young), lacking intellect, or just plain trolls.

So what if Roma lost by a big margain against a top team or kept crashing out of group stage when being drawn from 4th/ 3rd seed, paired against Bayern AND City or Chelsea AND Atleticio??
Would Inter, Milan, even Juve, do better in those conditions?? Not to mention with Roma's budget & rooster!

These "disgracing Italy" comments are pure nonsense! This is SPORT.
You qualify, you play!
on the 16th September, 2020 at 4:43pm
Personally I think it's more of an insurance policy. They've tied down Ciro for another few years, so if he gets sold next year they've got the back up in this player if he does well in his first year. I don't see anything out of the ordinary for Lazio, maybe the price tag but even that's nothing extraordinary.
on the 16th September, 2020 at 4:10pm
Hamid, who do YOU cheer for??

You only gave a half assessment:
Inter & Milan are ALSO Serie A clubs so why didn't you wrote THEIR European achievements in the last 10 years?

Inter was in EL final this year, but they would 90% already be out in Round of 16 had they faced Sevilla EARLIER (like Roma did) --A rested Sevilla at that, one that didn't play incredibly tiring Wolverhampton & United just days before the Inter match!

Lazio DESERVE to play in CL --get embarrassed OR win the cup!
on the 16th September, 2020 at 4:03pm
@Hamid; you aren't the Hamid from the dearly departed Lazioland forum by chance?
on the 16th September, 2020 at 3:49pm
No Italian team has really done well in Europe since Mourinho's Inter. Juventus have tried numerous managers with and without experience in CL but still can't find a way to win the CL, even Ronaldo couldn't swing it in their favour. Lazio really need to be able to buy a slightly better level of player to be able to compete at CL level but first we need to be in it to increase revenue and be able to attract those players. Atalanta surprised many with their perfor, there's no reason we can't too.
on the 16th September, 2020 at 3:47pm

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