After a thrilling campaign, many Serie A teams have transfer needs heading into the 2022/2023 season.
Both Milan teams will be hungry to improve their squads as they both look to battle for the much-coveted second star next season.
Meanwhile, Juventus is desperate to get some attacking talent after a lackluster season. Club leaders Chiellini and Paulo Dybala are on their way out. Therefore, there is plenty of room to strengthen the team to challenge for the Scudetto.
Napoli’s strong performance this season surprised many. However, their late season frailties proved costly. Long-time club captain and hometown hero Lorenzo Insigne is set to move to Toronto FC. Victor Osimhen and Hirving Lozano need a third piece to their attacking trident.
The upcoming season looks to be as memorable as 2021/22. Though each of these teams have plenty of areas to strengthen, here are some players that would fill some gaping holes for the clubs above.
Transfer needs for Serie A’s top four
The Rossoneri enter the transfer window with euphoric joy after winning a hard-fought Scudetto. It is Milan’s first league title in over a decade.
Pioli and his men outperformed all expectations and overcame many key injuries on their path to the title. Despite the celebrations, there are certain gaps that need filling.
Olivier Giroud and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are darlings in the hearts of fans. However, they are aging. Divock Origi is arriving on a free transfer from Liverpool. Rafael Leão won Serie A MVP this past season, dominating on the left side. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the right flank, as the likes of Saelemaekers, Junior Messias and Brahim Diaz failed to make a great impact.
The Ivorian, Franck Kessie, looks set to make a move to the Catalan giants Barcelona. Ergo, attacking midfield is a major need. Finally, defensive depth would be welcome. The defensive wall formed by Maignan, Tomori and Kalulu proved impenetrable in the second half of the season. Yet, injuries proved a challenging ask of those three. More injuries are likely with four potential trophies at stake.
- Sven Botman, CB – Lille
Sven Botman was a cornerstone of Lille’s defense during its title-winning 20/21 season. The Dutch defender played in the Champions League, Europa League, Ligue 1 and Eredivisie all before the age of 23. He is notably strong in the air, and retained interest from top clubs despite Lille’s dip in form. Milan looks set to secure his services, as the defender hopes to continue his Champions League. Plus, he can reunite with his former goalkeeper Mike Maignan.
- Antony, RW – Ajax
This is certainly the most ambitious signing on this list due to his cost. The 22-year-old lit up the right side for Ajax and earned regular caps for Brazil. He was a massive contributor to Sebastian Haller’s goal tally in the UEFA Champions League. His skillful dribbling and flair would provide a dangerous outlet for Milan on the right. It would be a challenge for opposition to control Antony and Leão.
- Dominik Szoboszlai, MF – RB Leipzig
Szoboszlai fell off the radar this season. More often than not, he started on the bench for RB Leipzig. Remember his magical performances with RB Salzburg and with Hungary in Euro 2020 qualification. He amassed 19 goal contributions in the top flight as a 21-year-old. Versatile attack allows him to slip in the attack. However, he could also fit the midfield if called upon.
- Houssem Aouar, MF – Lyon
Houssem Aouar was a hot commodity among Europe’s top clubs willing to play upwards of $65 million. Lackluster performances in the past two seasons drastically lowered the Frenchman’s stock. However, AC Milan rejuvenated the careers of many players in recent years. With his contract expiring next season, Milan will be able to sign the Frenchman for a significant discount.
Simone Inzaghi achieved success via the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa in his first season. That being said, the club certainly has many areas of improvement which Beppe Marotta will look to address in the coming months.
Club captain and legend Samir Handanovic stuck with the club through thick and thin. Declining performances signal an end, despite a one-year contract extension. Andre Onana is set to take the spot between the sticks,
The attacking department left much to be desired despite their league leading 84 goals. The inconsistency up front contributed to the Nerazzurri’s end of season collapse. The aging Edin Dzeko failed to convert many crucial opportunities in the closing months. Departures from Alexis Sanchez and Artuto Vidal leave the spine of the team lacking. Moreover, the likes of Sensi, Gagliardini, and Vecino all look on their way out the club. Inter must bring in multiple signings to strengthen this department. Finally, it seems almost criminal to critique the performance of Stefan De Vrij. Costly mistakes came as a result of his decline, particularly in the Derby della Madonnia.
- Giacomo Raspadori, FW – Sassuolo
Here is a young gem in Serie A. Impressive performances earned him a call up to the Euro 2020 Azzurri squad. He followed Euro 2020 with another excellent season for Sassuolo. Raspadori, a childhood Inter supporter, has quick feet and excellent link-up play. He fits in well alongside Lautaro Martinez up top.
- Nahitan Nández, MF – Cagliari
Nández held interest from Inter last summer. Sour relations between the clubs made the deal fall through in its final stages. His contract is winding down and Cagliari were relegated on the final matchday. The Uruguayan’s time in Sardinia is certainly coming to a close. Inter can re-join the hunt for his signature on a bargain deal. Aggressive, fast-paced approach naturally replaces Arturo Vidal.
- Gleison Bremer, DF – Torino
This is perhaps the most critical signing of all for Inter this summer. The Torino defender won Serie A defender of the year with his physical build, rapid pace and intelligent position. His oversight allowed Torino to hold the fifth-best defensive record in Serie A. Marotta and Ausilio have seemingly been courting the Brazilian defender all season. Foreign interest will soon arrive for the defender’s services.
- Paulo Dybala, FW – Juventus
This is a longstanding interest of Inter. Dybala won Serie A MVP just two seasons ago. Injuries and off-field issues derailed his relationships in Turin. Inter has a long history of Argentine strikers, and Dybala has creativity similar to Alexis Sanchez. One hurdle is the significant wages. Inter fans would love to spark animosity from their rivals at Juventus.
The Bianconeri had a campaign to forget in 21/22. Dušan Vlahović has brought some much-needed anticipation. Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata possibly leaving the club, the transfer window will be focused on finding the right strike partner to pair the Serbian superstar. The underwhelming performances of Arthur, Rabiot, and Bernadeschi continue to frustrate Juventus supporters. Alex Sandro’s rapid decline shocked many. His costly lapses in concentration have lost the club many points. Allegri’s persistence to start him despite his poor performances frustrated many. Additionally, the departure of Chiellini coupled with the mediocre performances of Rugani and Bonucci left the defense on its last strings.
- Paul Pogba, MF – Manchester United
Talk about an interesting career thus far. Pogba’s dominant performances at Juventus earned him a record-breaking transfer back to his boyhood club Manchester United. After another underwhelming season, the relationship looks set to come to a close as his contract expires in June. Since his departure, Juventus never filled the Frenchman’s void, so who better to replace Paul Pogba than Paul Pogba. Bosman signings are no stranger to Juventus. This deal seems like a win-win for both parties.
- Jonathan David, FW – Lille
After another excellent season at Lille, Canadian Jonathan David looks set for a big move this summer. He provides an excellent goal outlet for Juventus with 19 in all competitions for Lille. He would create a dangerous duo up top with Vlahović. Plus, it would be in place for years to come.
- Jurriën Timber, DF – Ajax
Defensive reinforcement is a must for Juventus. Though it will be impossible to replace the iconic Chiellini, Timber provides an exciting option that could pair excellently with compatriot Matthijs de Ligt. Timber, similar to an 18-year-old de Ligt, draws the interest of many European clubs. Though his services would not be cheap, Juventus would be investing in the future of their defense. Plus, this incentivizes de Ligt ro extend his contract with an ambitious partnership.
- Nicólas Tagliafico, DF – Ajax
The Argentine international consistently puts out strong performances for club and country. Tagliafico gave his verbal agreement to leave, Juventus would not have to break the bank to solve their problems on the left flank. His rapid pace and strong defensive capabilities will shore up Allegri’s defense even further.
Napoli hopes to build on the ever-growing talent of Victor Osimhen. As Insigne closes the curtain on his career in Naples, his long-time striking partner Dries Mertens continues to decline with age. The attacking trident will be the area of focus this window. Mario Rui’s continued role on the left flank bewildered many Serie A supporters. He stands the test of time despite lackluster defensive performances. The club likely needs to strengthen the left flank. Additionally, goalkeeping continues to be an Achilles heel. The injury prone duo of Ospina and Meret have inconsistencies. The latter made some unforgivable ball-playing mistakes at the end of the campaign.
- Hamed Traoré, MF – Sassuolo
Traoré is a thorn in the side of many of Serie A’s top clubs. For example, his performances stole points from the top six this past season. Magical dribbling embarrasses defenders each matchday. Plus, the 2021/22 campaign led to huge improvements in goal scoring. In total, he collected seven goals in all competitions. For Napoli, dynamic wing-play would be an excellent replacement for Lorenzo Insigne. Plus, he is just 22. Therefore, he would be available for years to come.
- Aaron Hickey, DF – Bologna
The Scotsman is a mainstay in the Bologna side. His five goals is among the top for goals by a defender in Europe. He has the chance to learn from Marco Rui at the ripe age of 19. He is a pacey option on the left side with a high ceiling.
- Alessio Cragno, GK – Cagliari
Cragno’s incredible performances saved Cagliari frequently. In fact, he was key to the club’s survival in prior seasons. and he was key to their Serie A survival in prior seasons. Cagliari’s relegation provides an opportunity for the young Italian to finally make the step up to the bigger stage. Cragno solves Napoli’s goalkeeping issues. His incredible reflexes and consistent shot-stopping would provide Napoli hearts with some much-needed relief.
- Marcus Thuram, FW – Boruissia Mönchengladbach
The French international had an underwhelming season by his standards largely due to injuries. However, as a result, he seems available for a reasonable price. The prior season he put up plenty of strong performances in the Champions League. Over two seasons, he racked up 46 goal contributions from 2019 to 2021. Still just 24, Thuram has plenty to prove. He would pair well with Victor Osimhen.
PHOTO: Matteo Ciambelli/vi/DeFodi Images via Getty Images
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