Former Salernitana and Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura discussed Lazio midfielder Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro in an interview with Italian media outlet Fanpage.it yesterday.
I can’t think that some would say that my season was a bad one, when a player who had two consecutive relegations in Serie C in January refused €9-10 million euros, or when Akpa Akpro today plays in the Champions League after being on the team with us, or when players who came from Serie C were sent to the Under 21 squad.
The only thing we missed was qualification to the playoffs, which could have been the cherry on top of a season, in some cases that’s important, in others very important.
In my opinion they laid the foundations for a good future.
The 28-year-old Akpa Akpro, who is contracted to the Biancocelesti until 2022, joined the club from Serie B side Salernitana, also owned by Lazio President Claudio Lotito, in the summer transfer window earlier this year.
Since his arrival, the Ivorian midfielder has made nine appearances across all competitions, for a total of 399 minutes. In that time, he has scored one goal, against German side Borussia Dortmund in the opening game of the Champions League.
His role is likely to be one of a rotational player, considering the already busy midfield available to coach Simone Inzaghi.
Last season, Akpa Akpro scored two goals and provided four assists in 33 appearances for the Granata in the Italian second tier.
He has spent the majority of his career with French side Toulouse, where he scored six goals and provided 10 assists in 132 games for the Ligue 2 side.