After spending five seasons abroad, Domenico Criscito is ready to return to the Serie A. According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the 31 year old’s contract expires in June of 2018, and the defender wants a return to Italy. The experienced Italian defender who currently plays for Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg has played in 31 games for Mancini’s side this season, scoring 4 goals and assisting 4. It is rumoured that Lazio, Inter, and Genoa have expressed interest in the left-back, however he prefers the latter.
After starting his career with Genoa in the 2002-2003 season at the age of 16, half of Criscito’s contract was bought by Juventus in 2004, where he stayed for 5 years. However he endured a poor time with the bianconeri, making just 8 appearances for the club. Not happy to be sitting on the bench for Juventus, he was sent on loan back to Genoa on three different occasions during these 5 years: in the 2006-2007, 2007-2008, and 2008-2009 seasons in which he officially signed with Genoa in July of 2008 for a fee around £10.35m and stayed with the rossoblu club for another 3 years becoming a vital part of their defending unit.
However, after a long-stay in his home country, it was time to move on, and Criscito transferred to Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg for £13.50m, signing a 5 year contract. He has now played 219 games for the Russian giants, scoring 19 times and assisting 29 times in this span of 7 seasons with the club and has a current market value of £4.5m (transfemarkt.com).
Criscito is a versatile defender, capable of playing as both a LB and a CB; although he has mainly appeared as a left back for Zenit. His strengths are his crossing of the ball, his ability to win balls in the air, and playing long, and accurate long-balls: This season he has played in 31 games for the Mancini’s Side scoring 4 goals while assisting 4 and has one of the highest average tackles per game ratio in the Europa League (5.2 tackles per game), and a 7.81 overall average rating (one of the highest ratings) making him one of most underrated defenders in European football.
Would you like to see the experienced defender on this Lazio side next season?