The current Serie A season has seen a trio of clubs compete for the Scudetto with Milan ahead by a small margin over Inter and Napoli respectively. The Milan-Inter showdown, set after the international break, will determine to a large extent the direction of the title. From an individual standpoint, there have been very few influential signings this season who can be credited with shaping the fortunes of their respective clubs.
Milan’s capture of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, on a loan deal likely to be made permanent at end of season, must rank as the season’s best transfer with the talented Swede carrying the club on his shoulders for an extended stretch earlier in the campaign. Ibrahimovic currently has 14 goals and 11 assists in the league alone. The former Juventus and Inter striker had an unimpressive spell with Barcelona, yet he has been firing on all cylinders with the Rossoneri. The knock on Ibrahimovic is his habit of disappearing on the big stage, with one major exception being his decisive goal for Barca in a 1-0 win over Real Madrid last season. In recent weeks, the Swede has been underperforming and his reckless side surfaced leading to his sending-off against Bari. This resulted in a three-match ban which could be decisive due to his absence from the much anticipated Milan derby.
Another success story has been Napoli’s striker Edinson Cavani who is having a remarkable campaign after his loan move from Palermo this summer. Cavani, who is only 24-years-old, is having the best season of his young career with a tally of 22 goals in 30 league appearances as well as another 7 strikes in just 8 European games. Cavani scored two goals against Cagliari over the weekend but his best achievement this season must be the hat-trick he managed against fallen giants Juventus. He also managed to score both goals in a 2-0 in over Roma to show he can rise to the occasion when needed. His two goals against Cagliari halted a recent slump in front of goal which included a missed penalty in recent weeks. Cavani will be one of the players to keep an eye on in the upcoming years as he has the potential to keep improving.
Finally, Juventus winger Milos Krasic deserves to be mentioned because he was instrumental in the early season push by the club before the Bianconeri started their plunge in the standings early 2011. Krasic’s drop in form coincided with Juve’s fall but he cannot be the one to blame for everything and he is clearly not the main reason. In recent weeks, coach Luigi Delneri has on more than one occasion subbed Krasic without a clear indication to the reasons despite the Serb’s critical role in providing much needed width. Krasic managed 5 goals in 26 league appearances which might seem as a low number but one must remember the Serb is not a striker. The winger provided 6 assists which ranks highest amongst his Juve teammates in Serie A. Krasic must also be dealing with fatigue since the Russian season’s schedule and his lack of rest must have exhausted him prior to joining the Bianconeri.
Considering various factors such as results, the importance of certain goals and the team’s progress, Ibrahimovic might be considered the summer’s best signing ahead of Cavani while Krasic’s stock has fallen as a result of Juve’s poor performances.
# To discuss your choice of Serie A’s best signing of the season or anything related to Italian or European football, feel free to contact @RamiSoufi on Twitter