Which positions do Lazio still need to reinforce?
Marginally missing out on a top-four spot in the Serie A in 2017/18, Lazio made it their goal to achieve Champions League football in 2018/19. However, not all went as planned. Despite winning their seventh Coppa Italia, key players failed to step up and make an impact in crucial times, the squad started to become inconsistent in front of goal, and defensive mishaps continued to occur. Combining this together with a busy schedule, the Biancocelesti finished eighth in the top flight of football and exited the Europa League in the Round of 32. This left Laziali disappointed as they were expecting the promises made by Claudio Lotito and Co. to be accomplished.
Enter July 1st, 2019, the start of the summer transfer window. While Lazio is usually a club that sits back and attempts to negotiate in the latter half of the period, they got down to work right away. This decision was made as President Lotito was required to fulfill the requests made by Manager Simone Inzaghi and Sporting Director Igli Tare, who were being chased by several other top sides this summer; to keep a hold of the two at the club, they had to meet their specific demands. While Inzaghi wanted to improve several departments and positions, Tare desired a larger budget to afford and make proper investments: Denis Vavro was acquired from FC Copenhagen to reinforce the backline; Manuel Lazzari was acquired from SPAL to reinforce the right flank; Jony was acquired from Málaga CF to reinforce the left flank; several youngsters were brought in and consequentially loaned out in hopes that they will become players for the first team in the years to come.
Although this summer has been an impressive one, especially considering the positive impact the new faces have had on their preseason matches, there is still work that needs to be done. Ciro Immobile and Felipe Caicedo remain as the only two experienced strikers in the team and the left-center back role is still missing a successor. This is why, in my opinion, Lazio should continue to make moves and act on the market before the deadline come September 2nd.
Taking a look at the attacking department, Inzaghi usually implements one proven striker and a trequartista (second striker) in his starting eleven. As seen this preseason, one of Immobile or Caicedo have been partnered with one of Joaquín Correa, André Anderson, or Bobby Adekanye up top. While this idea of a goalscorer and creator has worked in the past, one other proven striker to bolster and change the lineup would be ideal to allow them to rest and be competitive on all fronts.
Taking a look at the defensive department, Inzaghi plays with three at the back in addition to two wing-back players. This means that the team has the width required to spread the pitch on the attack but also defend as a unit of five. Although this sounds ideal, it has not had the best success, mainly the reason for the central defenders currently employed by the club. The available options for the left-center back role have all had short stints of terrific form, but consistency is key; as Radu begins to age, a starting replacement is needed to protect the goal. This is why securing another central defender, specifically left-footed, is a must for Lazio.
If you could sign one striker and one left-center back for Lazio before the start of the campaign, who would it be and why? Let us know in the comments or tag us on Twitter @The_Laziali!