This past January Transfer Window, Lazio offloaded €20 million signing Vedat Muriqi to Spanish La Liga side Real Club Deportivo Mallorca. Despite being the club’s second-most expensive signing in the Claudio Lotito era, the 27-year-old failed to find any sort of form in Rome, which ultimately led to the Biancocelesti cutting ties with the player after just 18 months.
Before the Kosovo international joined Lazio, he was highly praised by due to his strong play both domestically in Turkey and internationally for his country. Between Giresunspor, Genclerbirligi Ankara, Caykur Rizespor, and Fenerbahce SK, Muriqi had scored 75 goals and provided 23 assists in 212 appearances across all competitions; in his last season in Turkey before joining the Biancocelesti, he scored 17 goals and provided 7 assists in 36 appearances.
What was important to note is that he slowly progressed from one club to the next, showing his rise in qualities and skills. However, it unfortunately did not work out for him when he moved to Italy and Serie A, one of the top five European leagues. It was evident that he possibly made the wrong decision in joining Lazio after just one season at Fenerbahce, but this was not entirely his fault. The Turkish club were experiencing financial difficulties and needed to make sales to stay afloat. In addition, Lazio Sporting Director Igli Tare was said to have scouted the player for some time, ensuring both the player and Lazio that he met the requirements to thrive in the Italian league. He took a risk and it did not pay off, with the odds being similar to winning a jackpot, which you can read more here.
In total, the Kosovan forward made 49 appearances across all competitions (1566 minutes) during his 18 months with the Biancocelesti. In that time, he was only able to record two goals and two assists, clearly struggling to replicate the success he had shown in Turkey.
This past January, Muriqi was said to be on his way out of Rome. Numerous clubs were said to have expressed interest throughout the Transfer Window from France (Saint-Etienne), Turkey (Fenerbahce and Galatasaray), England (Leeds United, Hull City, West Brom), and Russia (CSKA Moscow). However, on Transfer Deadline Day, it was Mallorca who swooped in and were able to agree to terms with the player and Lazio. The 27-year-old Muriqi joined Mallorca on a six-month loan deal (€1 million) with a €12 million buy option.
Since then, the old Muriqi has returned. The striker has provided a goal contribution in all three of the La Liga fixtures he has featured in. With numerous fixtures ahead of himself, the real question that inevitably poses itself is whether or not he will be able to continue at this rate, and if so, would Mallorca take up the option to make the transfer permanent. In the end, it all boils down to determining whether or not such a move is truly worth the gamble.
With Muriqi failing to score or assist in 15 appearances in all competitions this season for Lazio, one could not really help but wonder if his performances would be any different, but he looks to be finding his footing once again which could benefit the Biancocelesti one way or another.