Serie A side Lazio, like any other club, look to develop their youth prospects by securing them first team football at a level which will challenge each player individually to aid their development. Fortunately, for Biancocelesti players, their President Claudio Lotito is also a Chairman for Serie B side Salernitana. This provides the club’s footballers the ability to secure experience in the competitive second tier of Italian Football.
Salernitana is currently managed by 71-year-old Gian Piero Ventura and find themselves sitting just one point off Serie B leaders Benevento. This is a magnificent feat for not only the team – who narrowly missed out on relegation to the Serie C last season and have the second youngest squad in the league this year – but for the manager as well. His previous two spells in charge of the Italy National Team and Chievo Verona were unpleasant to say the least. All in all, he understands that he has a team available to him which he is looking to mould for the future. This was made clear from the get-go, when he stated: “I’m not here to make Salernitana win, I am here to re-build; starting from the style of play.“
For the 2019/20 campaign, six Lazio players have been sent on loan to Salerno. However, only three players have stood out at this early stage in the season while the other three have failed to make an impact. The group of individuals falling into the first category are Sofian Kiyine, Fabio Maistro, and Andreas Karo; Patryk Dziczek, Cristiano Lombardi, and Cedric Gondo fall into the second category.
The Moroccan International was signed this summer for around £675 thousand. Lazio opted to purchase the player who made 23 appearances in Serie A last season for Chievo, who were relegated from the division. The Central Midfielder had 95 appearances between the Serie A and Serie B, 23 of which came during his first spell on loan with Salernitana in the 17/18 season. The 22-year-old has hit the ground running in his return to Salerno; he tops the goal-scoring table with three goals in six appearances in the league and is already showing why clubs like Napoli were interested in his signature.
Glad to to see Sofian #Kiyine (22) showing his class at #Salernitana. After being acquired by #Lazio this past summer from #Chievo, the Biancocelesti loaned the midfielder out to Salerno where he has been a key figure for the Granata. 8 matches played, 4 goals so far this year. pic.twitter.com/RPVT0G5Ogz
— S. K. MOORE (@S_K_MOORE) October 6, 2019
The central midfielder, who used to be a part of the Fiorentina Primavera, was signed this summer from Rieti in the third tier of Italian Football. Lazio opted to send him straight out on loan to Salernitana to challenge him at the next highest level. Fabio has grasped the opportunity presented to him, making seven appearances to date in Serie B. Fabio started the campaign as a squad player, making his first three appearences for the Granata from the bench. However after his sides defeat to Benevento during game week three he was promoted to the starting eleven where he has been ever since. The Italian has shown in his seven games with Salernitana that akthough he has a lot of class, he has some arrogance on the pitch, likely due to his young age of 21. Fabio has all the attributes needed to make him become a top inside forward or attacking midfielder in years to come.
Lazio signed the 22-year-old Cypriot defender from Apollon Limassol this past summer. Last season, Karo played with Pafos FC in the Cypriot First Division, making 19 appearances; he totalled 50 appearances in the first tier of Cypriot football before moving to Italy. Karo has probably been the biggest surprise at Salernitana – his individual story has been quite inspiring. Originally Karo was not in the immediate plans of Ventura, clearly not the strongest defender at the disposal of the Granata. However, unfortunate injury circumstances meant that the palyer had to be thrusted into the limelight. Karo has started every game in the league this season for Salernitana and his performances have been exceptional, even seeing him compete for the ‘Man of the Match’ award in their last two games. The fact he has been able to compose himself after what looked like his demise – in the Benevento defeat which Ventura hauled him off the pitch after 58 minutes – is credit to his mentality.
Lazio signed the Polish midfielder from Piast Gliwice this past summer. 21 years of age, he is a proper talent and plays with the Poland U21 side; he was sent directly on loan to Salernitana where, so far, he has not acquired any minutes.
The Italian wing-back was sent on a two-year loan to Venezia in the Serie B last year. However, following their dramatic relegation, the now 24-year-old returned to Lazio. With no space on the right flank, however, his destiny was another loan move away and Salerntana was the best fit. So far, he has only made two appearances for the club, both a starter in the Coppa Italia.
Lazio signed the Ital-Ivorian striker on a free transfer this past summer, following his contract expiry at Rieti. 22 years of age, he was one of the most promising talents to come from the Fiorentina youth ranks. However, he has been able to find form; he was sent directly on loan to Salernitana where, so far, he has not acquired any minutes.