“It’s not the time to talk about the market”, said Igli Tare before the match in Cyprus last week. Since then, however, two additional unexpected and poor performances from the squad occurred which could be changing the Albanian’s mind.
The first was against Apollon Limassol for the Matchday 5 Europa League clash, in which Lazio lost 2-0. A turnover of the squad which saw 10 of 11 irregular starters including youth players, Laziali and Serie A TIM fans could understand why failure occurred, but it was the way they lost in which they cannot. A poor desire to perform and play to their capabilities, this was a moment for some of the players to really shine and show their true potential to challenge Simone Inzaghi in choosing his starting eleven week-in-week-out, but this did not happen. Following this match, the Biancoceleste returned to Italy, with Inzaghi stating that he “takes responsibility for the result”, due to the real focus being on their trip to Verona for Matchday 14 of the Serie A TIM; fair enough, Lazio had already clinched qualification to the next round of European football. But from the 1′ when kick-off occurred against Chievo, Inzaghi’s side played terrible football – in fact, the worst football the Italian manager has seen his side play since being in charge.
One of the poorest players on the pitch in the match was Adam Marusic – a man who shone last season, a man who has been in the dark this season. After several lackluster performances this season, Laziali have put him in the crossfire of severe complaints; similar to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto, Marusic is another individual that has been unable to find his feet and make an impact for Lazio. He was seen replaced yesterday in the 55′ for Patric, who, since being given the opportunity to play on the right flank, is really on the verge of taking over the starting role. In addition, with Martin Caceres set to leave the capital and an aging Dusan Basta who is seeing less and less of the pitch, many believe that the right-flank is short-staffed and because of this, the sirens have been activated to find a new addition.
There are many names that have been monitored by the biancoceleste society in Italy and across Europe – we have heard the likes of RB Salzburg’s Stefan Lainer, SPAL’s Manuel Lazzari, and Atalanta’s Hans Hateboer, however, new names have now emerged. As reported by the Il Tempo, the performances of Chelsea’s Davide Zappacosta and Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian in the Premier League are being followed. With both struggling to find space in Maurizio Sarri and Jose Mourinho’s side’s respectively, a return to Italy is their first option, especially the country being their ‘home’.
Zappacosta moved to Chelsea from Torino in the summer of 2017 to bolster Antonio Conte’s defense. The transfer worked well – being under Italian management – however, as Antonio Conte sunk, so did Zappacosta’s playing time. Sarri has since taken over (the Italian language and connection still exist) but the player has only seen 18 minutes of the Premier League this season. Darmian moved to Manchester United from Torino in the summer of 2015 but has failed to secure a starting role in any of the past three years. This season he has played just two matches in all competitions, with the player continually falling back in the pecking order.
Although both would be hard transfers and acquisitions to complete, the more beneficial signing would be Zappacosta. From Sora, Italy in the region of Lazio, he would essentially be returning home. He would suit a 3-5-1-1 formation perfectly and would challenge Marusic and Patric to perform. He would also assist in the defending dilemma Lazio have while providing a positive attacking presence moving forward. At 26 years of age, this is the ideal footballer to cure the Lazio’s right flank.