Following the sale of Paulo Dybala to Juventus for €32 million this summer (could reach€40 million in add-ons), Palermo have a major hole to fill up front in their lineup. While replacing a player such as Dybala is certainly not an easy task, the Italian club has plenty of funds to help push for a European place in the Serie A table this coming season.
Although Dybala’s departure was a big disappointment for Palermo fans (yet not exactly a shock), the best news to come out of the Rosanero was the contract extension of Franco Vazquez. The 26-year-old midfielder was nothing short of brilliant last season, scoring 10 goals and setting up another 10 during league play. Vazquez’s excellent campaign earned him his first call-up from the Italy national team (despite the fact that he was born in Argentina).
With Vazquez tied down with the club until 2019, Palermo now needs to focus on spending the Dybala money to better the team. The table below shows that Palermo has spent roughly €9 million so far this summer.
Despite the fact that none of the names in the table jump out on the page, there is some quality there.
The additions of defenders El Kaoutari and Goldaniga (the latter was brought back after Juventus previously held a co-ownership deal with Palermo for the player) should help the Palermo defense which allowed the eighth most goals in the Serie A last season. El Kaoutari, a Morocco international, started 37 Ligue 1 matches (36 at center back and one at right back) for Montpellier during the 2014-15 campaign.
Midfielder Oscar Hiljemark captained Sweden during the 2015 U-21 European Championships, guiding them to their first ever U-21 Euro title. Hiljemark’s Sweden teammate, Robin Quaison, is also a Palermo player and has looked bright during the club’s preseason so far (he scored a goal and hit the post three times recently during a friendly against Pontisola). Both Hiljemark and Quaison scored one goal each in the 2015 U-21 Euros.
With around €23 million of the Dybala sale left, Palermo would do well to bring in an additional striker. Rumors have surfaced over the last few days that Arsenal outcast, Joel Campbell, could be on his way to the Sicilian club. Palermo has reportedly offered around €5 million for the Costa Rica international; however, the Gunners are thought to be holding out for a fee closer to €10 million.
Campbell would be a solid addition to the Palermo team and would seemingly link up well with a player such as Vazquez. If the Rosanero can secure the signing of Campbell, and perhaps one more quality player, Palermo fans would have a reason to be optimistic heading into the new season.
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