Could Lazio Target Championship Signings in the Summer?

Lazio is one of Italy’s most passionately supported clubs, even if they may not have the same record of success as Inter, Juventus, or Milan.

Sharing the capital city of Rome with Roma, Lazio enjoyed the privilege of finishing above their rivals in the league table last season. While they have slumped to the ninth spot this term, Lazio is determined to end the season well and build for the future.

Part of their strategy has involved signing young, up-and-coming talent from around Europe; the question we answer today is whether Lazio’s transfer strategy for the coming Transfer Window should involve signings from the English Championship.

Maurizio Sarri & English Football

Part of the reason Lazio may have looked to players in the English Championship is the experience of coach Maurizio Sarri. The Italian spent a year in charge of Chelsea, winning the Europa League, leading him to discover a great deal about the talents found throughout the English footballing pyramid.

Source: Dom Le Roy, via Pexels

The Perks of Signing Championship Players

There was a time when teams in a top European league would not give a second thought to players in the second or third divisions. The gap between those teams was too significant 20 years ago, so fans often used double chance in soccer betting anytime a team from the top division played one in the division below.

Circumstances have changed in the past few years, especially in England. The English Championship — or second division — has a great deal of money poured into it through TV rights deals and Premier League parachute payments.

Players like Eberechi Eze, Jude Bellingham, Jarrod Bowen, and Ivan Toney came from the Championship and even lower down. Many Championship clubs that go on to sell their top talents, such as Victor Gyokeres, find them in divisions below or in smaller European leagues.

As these players move on to top leagues and perform, they also elevate the view of the Championship. Bellingham is likely the best example, as he seamlessly moved from Birmingham City to Borussia Dortmund a few years ago and instantly looked like a superstar.

Is Youth an Excessive Gamble?

Sunderland youngster Jack Clarke, Plymouth Argyle winger Morgan Whittaker, and Norwich City midfielder Gabriel Sara are three names linked with moves away from their respective clubs in the summer. While these teams are ambitious and hope to play in the Premier League in the near future, they cannot resist big-money bids from other clubs either.

There is a significant possibility that top teams, including Italian giants Lazio, will be assessing these talents in the coming months. They are also likely to run the rule over Jonathan Rowe, Sammie Szmodics, and Lief Davis, as they also earn rave reviews from scouts.

A few Lazio fans may consider signing such players too much of a gamble, as they are completely unproven at the top level. However, Lazio believes such players only need a platform to show their quality.

Source: Bert Christiaens, via Pexels

Can Lazio Challenge the Premier Clubs Consistently?

Part of the difficulty for a club like Lazio is competing with Milan, Juventus, and Inter. These are teams with the ability to sign more expensive players and pay them higher wages. If a team such as Lazio is to consistently compete in the top four or five positions, they must take calculated risks.

Signing players from the Championship, given the track record of the likes of Jarrod Bowen at West Ham, Jude Bellingham at Real Madrid, and Eberechi Eze at Crystal Palace, shows that top young talent can be found in lower divisions.

The coming summer is set to be a pivotal one for Lazio. They did finish second in the 2022/2023 season, but they have slumped to a mid-table position in 2023/2024. If they can finish this campaign strongly, try to qualify for the Europa Conference League, and sign quality young players, they could get back on track.

Players like Jack Clark from Sunderland and Gabriel Sara from Norwich are talented enough to shine in any league and system. Given they are still in the Championship, they will be much more affordable than a comparable player in the Premier League, Bundesliga, or Ligue 1.

A Chance To Make a Name in Serie A

Getting the chance to perform in a top European league is not always available to young players. Talents that emerge from the youth setup for top clubs, especially in Italy, find themselves having to go out on loan until their mid-20s. This makes Lazio’s policy of signing talent from the Championship and other leagues a huge opportunity for English players and other young stars. They can move to a new country, learn a language, excel in a different league, and kickstart their careers.

Tags Bellingham Bowen Championship Clarke Davis Eberechi Eze EFL Championship Eze Gabriel Sara Ivan Toney Jack Clarke Jarrod Bowen Jonathan Rowe Jude Bellingham Lazio Lief Davis Maurizio Sarri Morgan Whittaker Rowe Sammie Szmodics Sara Sarri Szmodics Toney Whittaker