When Lazio signed Luis Alberto back on August 31, 2016, from Liverpool, the Spaniard arrived in Rome at the lowest peak in his career. Prior to his arrival, he spent three seasons under contract with The Reds. In his first year with the club, he made just nine appearances under Brendan Rodgers in the 2013/14 season. The following two seasons he was sent on loan to La Liga side Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna, respectively.
Luis Alberto’s time with Liverpool did not pan out well for him; however, he was never given much of an opportunity to prove himself. Fortunately, leaving the Premier League club was beneficial for the Spaniard, who has become a fan favourite and a focal point of Lazio’s attack in the past six seasons.
Although Lazio’s talisman, Ciro Immobile, has constantly stolen the headlines with his staggering scoring, the midfielder has been just as influential and this has allowed the Italian striker to be effective with his stellar passing and ability to consistently put his teammates in quality scoring positions.
However, all good things have a start and an end. Unfortunately, now may be the time for Lazio to consider selling Luis Alberto before it becomes difficult to do so. The midfielder has reiterated that he would love to play in La Liga and be closer to his home and family in Spain.
It will be difficult to replace a player with the quality of Luis Alberto but is now the time to sell him?
Luis Alberto Is Not Getting Any Younger
It was a tumultuous 2021-22 campaign for Luis Alberto as he finished the season with five goals and twelve assists across all competitions. He showed moments of brilliance under new Lazio manager, Maurizio Sarri, while at other times, he struggled to adapt to his style of play and was poor against some of the upper echelon clubs.
The Spaniard has been a productive player in recent seasons and a player of his quality would vastly improve several teams across the top European leagues who are in search of an attacking midfielder. After a mediocre 2018/19 season, Luis Alberto has followed up with three straight productive seasons, tallying a total of 21 goals and 33 assists across all competitions.
If Lazio continues to hold on to him, it will be difficult to make a profit. This past season Luis Alberto turned 29 years old and this September he will be 30. As he continues to age, he will offer clubs minimal resale value and this could make it difficult to sell him.
Luis Alberto’s Attitude Is a Sign of Concern
The consistent play of Luis Alberto in previous seasons has always been noted and noticeable. However, previous Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi and assistant manager Massimiliano Farris bailed the Spaniard out on several occasions.
Luis Alberto has constantly created needless drama which has caused friction around the club. In the 202-21 season, he criticized Lazio club president, Claudio Lotito, for purchasing an airplane. He stated: “very nice, they spend a lot of money, but they don’t pay us.” Lotito was not impressed with the midfielder’s comments and wanted Inzaghi to bench him for the proceeding game. That never came to fruition; however, the season progressed with issues on and off the field.
At the start of the 2021-22 campaign, Luis Alberto arrived a week late to training camp and was fined for his poor attitude. In the second last game of the season, Luis Alberto picked up an injury and was forced to miss the season finale. He left early to go on vacation instead of being with his team and fans to celebrate the end of the year.
Luis Alberto brings quality to the midfield, but along with that comes unnecessary problems.
Luis Alberto Should be Sold Before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
In recent months, Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been the hot topic on the transfer market. Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have been reported to be interested in signing the midfielder. Lotito has mentioned that he does not plan to sell the midfielder, and while the Serbian will fetch a greater value, Luis Alberto is the player who they should consider selling first.
Milinkovic-Savic has proven that he can adapt and work well in Sarri’s 4-3-3 formation. As the season progressed so did his game and he finished with 11 goals and 11 assists in Serie A, his best season with Lazio. Luis Alberto was on the opposite end, showing ups and downs this season, he struggled to maintain consistency under Sarri. In addition, Savic is 27 years old and entering the prime of his career while Luis Alberto is 29 and has played some of his prime years.
The Serbian is the player that Lazio should build around in the midfield as he has the tools and characteristics that complement Sarri’s style of play.