Serie A preview – Will Lazio fulfill their potential?
Lazio is a team full of great players, from Muslera in goal to Zarate up front, they’ve got some great players, especially for the future. Last season can only be described as a disappointment, 12th place with little fight in the team, but now, Lotito hopes to change that with some new players and a new manager. Edi Reja did great things with Napoli, he dragged them back into the Serie A, revitalizing the club, exactly what’s needed at Lazio. The team has quality spread throughout the positions, now all that’s needed is for Reja to unify them, and take them back into Europe. A dream which is still distant, but can be achieved.
Lazio is one of the clubs which has made some smart moves during this rather dismal transfer market, they’ve bought quality players to replace those who were slowly fading away. Probably the biggest signing for Lazio is Hernanes, the 25 year-old Brazilian midfielder thrived in Brazil with Sao Paolo, and now he has finally decided to move abroad. While he’s not the next Ronaldinho, he is a very intelligent player, very similar to Iniesta with his passing and footwork. Another important signing is Garrido from Manchester City, the winger wasn’t feeling part of Roberto Mancini’s plans, so he decided to move to Lazio, hoping to create a positive impact on the left wing. Lazio also signed Kozak, a 20 year-old center-forward who has already begun to shine in friendlies. Kozak will certainly be Lazio’s future striker, and while he might not be used much this season, he’s one to look out for.
While Lazio aren’t missing much, they could use some reinforcing in defense, where they’re not totally prepared, a big strong center-back would be useful, but isn’t an urgency. The other important spot to fill is the one which will be supporting Hernanes, while the Brazilian roams around the field, providing assists and more, he will need a defensive midfielder next to him to cover. And the last possible reinforcment would be in attack, while Zarate should establish himself in the starting 11 (he’s had some fights with Reja), he could use a tall center-forward. Rocchi is too old, Kozak is too young, and Floccari isn’t the best, so a strong and tall forward would be useful.
Edi Reja has one formation in mind for Lazio, a versatile 3-5-2 which should accommodate Hernanes who likes to move forward, and Lichsteiner and Garrido playing as wingbacks. The starting 11 would have Muslera in goal with a central three of Biava, Dias, and Radu in defense, then in the midfield you’d have a line of five which is made up of Lichtsteiner, Brocchi, Hernanes, Bresciano, and Garrido, with Zarate and Floccari up front. This would hopefully fit everyone on the field, letting Reja use his attacking gems to their full potential. With possibly Ledesma next to Hernanes, both behind Zarate and Floccari, you can expect a lot of goals from Lazio this season.
Sadly, Lazio has usually been the little brother to Roma, and things don’t look like changing very soon. But Reja is a coach which instills a project, taking teams up through the table, even into the Europa League. If Lotito can stick with Reja and provide him with the proper funding, we could see Lazio become a very strong team in the future. And maybe one day we could see Lazio surpass Roma, who is looking very shaky with their presidential position, but now Lazio has to fulfill their potential this season, then look to the future.
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