A remarkable and fairytale Serie B title win has propelled Carpi into Serie A for the first time in their history, Colin Millar analyses whether or not the minnows can stay in the top flight.
Four promotions in six years and a convincing Serie B title win has ensured that the tiny club from the province of Modena will mix it with the big boys in Serie A. Modena’s Stadio Alberto Braglia will be their home for next season, as Carpi’s home ground Stadio Sandro Cabassi was not deemed suitable for top flight football. All the odds look stacked against Fabrizio Castori’s side, and they have been extremely busy in the transfer market as they look to bolster a very young squad.
Initial impressions have not been favourable, with the Biancorossi losing pre-season friendlies to Serie A opposition Fiorentina and Inter, as well as Serie B outfit Perugia. More recent wins over Civitanovese and Al-Ahli have offered hope, but Carpi will have to find their feet quickly in the top flight.
To that end, the new boys have sought to bolster their ranks with Serie A experience, while understandably operating on a minuscule budget.
Francesco Benussi (Verona), Gabriel Silva & Željko Brkić(both Udinese) and Nicolas Spolli (Catania) strengthen the club’s goalkeeping and defensive options, while Andrea Lazzari (Udinese) will give them fluidity and vibrancy in midfield. In Luca Marrone (Juventus) and Wallace (Chelsea), the club have also added two potential stars into their ranks. In total, there have been a remarkable 15 acquisitions, nine of which were loans, and none of which required a transfer fee.
This is Castori’s 18th job in management –his seventh in his last seven years, and despite a number of high-profile failures he is well-regarded in Carpi. Seen as the mastermind behind their promotion in his first season, he has brought the best out of a core of young players.
The 22-year-old Nigerian hotshot spearheaded the side’s attack last season, netting 15 goals and forming a fearsome attack alongside Kevin Lasagna and Roberto Inglese.
The Juventus loanee has had spells at both Siena and Sassuolo in the top-flight, and now may be his time to fulfil his potential. The 25-year-old powerful midfielder made his Juve debut six years ago and has been an Italian Under 21 stalwart. Is now an experienced head in a young squad.
It’s hard to imagine someone from the Biancorossi breaking into the Azzurri squad this season, but in Marrone, Kevin Lasagna, Antonio Loi and Alessio Sabbione, there is plenty of young talent in Carpi’s ranks who could make the step up one day.
BRKIC; Letizia, Romagnoli, Spolli, Gagliolo; MARRONE, LAZZARI, Lollo; Lasagna, Mbakogu, WILCZEK.
One of the smallest sides ever to play in the Italian top flight, don’t expect Carpi to pull up any trees this season. However, some smart buys and the goals of Mbakogu should see them just avoid the drop.
Keep up to date with all the Serie A transfers with Football Italia's summer 2015 transfer table.