An overarching theme of the summer transfer market across Italy was sales. And not just any sales either. Some of the best players on the peninsula said their goodbyes this summer, including last season’s Best Goalkeeper, Best Defender, Best Striker, and Overall MVP. Romelu Lukaku, Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Rodrigo De Paul, Cristian Romero, and Cristiano Ronaldo have all moved on to different pastures. That’s an absurd amount of quality and practically impossible to fully replace. The financial struggles of many Italian teams made it even harder to find adequate fillers but there are still some fascinating newcomers to the league.
Roma was by far the most active Italian team in the market and spent €92 million to meet Jose Mourinho’s demands. Eldor Shomurodov and Uruguayan left-back Matias Vina are nothing to be scoffed at but it's Tammy Abraham that has caught the most attention since his arrival in the Eternal City. And if early signs are anything to go on, he’s set to make his mark on Serie A. The 23-year-old cost a cool €40 million upfront from Chelsea and is the long-term Edin Dzeko successor in the capital. He showed promise in London and notched 26 goals in 89 Premier League appearances. Despite a 15-goal 2019/20 season, Abraham fell out of favor under Thomas Tuchel and was clearly surplus to requirements thanks to the signing of a certain Belgian striker. While he was crowded out at Chelsea, Roma offers him the chance to be the star of the show. Abraham has taken full advantage so far and tallied one goal and two assists in his first two Serie A matches. A trio of him, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Nicolo Zaniolo is already showing signs of life and will give defenders nightmares once it's running at full speed.
If Mourinho and Co. have any chance of a top-four finish, it’s going to be in large part because Abraham proves he’s worth that price tag. Two games in, forty million is already looking like a steal.
Fiorentina’s transfer market will be remembered most for keeping hold of Dusan Vlahovic amid heavy interest from Atletico Madrid and Tottenham. The Serbian striker will be a crucial part of Vicenzo Italiano’s plans in Tuscany and is the type of player that can single-handedly turn a season from failure to success. But La Viola wasn't content to rest on its Vlahovic-shaped laurels. Fiorentina also spent a club-record €23.5 million on Nicolas Gonzalez to bolster its attacking corps. The Argentine left-winger comes from VfB Stuttgart where he tallied 23 goals and 10 assists in 79 appearances across the top two flights of German football. Gonzalez has made an instant impact for Fiorentina. He had a lively but ultimately fruitless debut against Roma before scoring a peach of a goal to open his account versus Torino. The Argentine has been a constant threat down the left flank and is only going to get better as he settles in at the Artemio Franchi. The combination of Gonzalez, Vlahovic, and Lucas Torreira, plus Italiano’s fascinating style of play makes Fiorentina a must-watch this season.
Though the 23-year-old didn’t get the headlines other high-profile pursuits received, Koopmeiners laid claim to one of the most drawn-out sagas of the summer. His final destination flip-flopped between Roma and Atalanta every other day before it appeared he would end up staying at AZ Alkmaar. Thanks to Cristian Romero’s big-money move to Tottenham, La Dea managed to finally get the deal done for €12 million a day before the window closed. The young Dutch midfielder and ex-Alkmaar captain is highly touted for major success after four dominant seasons in the Eredivisie. Despite operating as a midfielder (and a more defensive one at that), he bagged 43 goals and 17 assists in 154 appearances for Alkmaar. Koopmeiners looks like a perfect fit for Gian Piero Gasperini’s system and fills one of Atalanta’s few weak points in midfield. Though he could take time to adapt to Serie A, Koopmeiners is a scary pickup for an already very good Atalanta and once he’s settled the league will be put on watch.
Who are you most excited for? Are there any possible flops? Who will be the biggest success? Let us know in the comments below.
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