Lazio are back in the Champions League after a few years out, but do they really have the squad depth to compete both domestically and internationally?
It would be fair to say that Maurizio Sarri did not prioritize European competition last season in the Italian capital, often deploying a far weaker squad in both the Europa League and the Conference League, clearly focusing on the team’s fight for a top-four finish in Serie A.
This ultimately paid off as Lazio secured a second-place finish, taking them back to the Champions League. After the end of the season, the coach made it clear that he expected a handful of reinforcements to arrive, giving him the tools necessary to fight on multiple fronts.
With the summer transfer window now closed, we can ask ourselves, have Lazio done enough in the market to truly fight in all competitions next season? According to the best football betting sites, Lazio are 100/1 outsiders to lift the Champions League, so experts think additional work should have been completed in the transfer market before the season kicked off.
The Roman club have picked up three players this summer – striker Valentin Castellanos, winger Gustav Isaksen and midfielder Daichi Kamada. A backup goalkeeper and a left-back could’ve both arrived as well, but didn’t. The only major departure was the sale of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Al-Hilal.
These three additions do add a significant amount of depth to Sarri’s squad. The arrival of Castellanos in particular is vital, giving Ciro Immobile more time and space to recover, something he clearly needed last season.
One concerning aspect is the lack of a new left back. Last season, Sarri was forced to rely on either Elseid Hysaj or Adam Marusic, neither of whom seem particularly capable of rising to the occasion in the Champions League, meaning a reinforcement in the role is still a pressing matter.
Some cover for defensive midfielder Danilo Cataldi would have also been helpful; the Italian doesn’t really have a natural alternative in the Biancocelesti squad, with Marcos Antonio struggling to meet the mark, so picking up another option would’ve helped with rotation options.
Much also depends on the ability of the second-string players to impress Sarri. In defence, for example, Nicolo Casale and Alessio Romagnoli are the obvious starting pair, so players like Mario Gila and Patric will need to prove they can take over when needed.
Lazio may have the depth to put on a good showing in both the Champions League and Serie A, but moving past the knockout stages in Europe could start proving too draining as the season progresses