Power Ranking Serie A Teams on Their Summer Transfer Window Activity
After months of speculation, rumour and some intriguing deals, the summer transfer window finally closed yesterday. Many of Serie A’s biggest names moved on, but many more remain, and football on the peninsula continues to climb back towards its previous heights.
While the Italian top flight may have lost the likes of Mario Balotelli and Mehdi Benatia, clubs worked hard to bring in talent to replace them. Working hard to improve their squads, many of the country’s biggest clubs enjoyed interesting off-seasons that may see them take a leap forward in terms of quality.
Over the following pages is a countdown of all 20 teams, ranking them in order of their summer transfer activity, looking at how their work affected their overall quality. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment with your thoughts on the final order.
Major Arrivals: Fabio Quagliarella, Antonio Nocerino Major Departures: Alessio Cerci, Ciro Immobile
Selling both the league’s top scorer and assist-maker in a single summer is not what marks out Torino as Serie A’s worst. However, the fact they lost both Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci for such a low combined fee—having seen the pair net 35 goals and 13 assists last term—does.
The former moved to Borussia Dortmund for around €16 million, but the Granata had to pay Juventus half that sum to resolve his co-ownership, per Juve's official website. Meanwhile, Cerci left for Atletico Madrid for around €19 million, per Football Italia, including all bonuses.
To compound those losses, Torino brought in a raft of unwanted players including Amauri, Fabio Quagliarella and Cristian Molinaro.
Major Arrivals: None Major Departures: None
Empoli finished as runners-up in Serie B last term and have done very little business over the summer, causing concern as to their future. It seems the Tuscan side could head back to the second tier quickly, possessing very few quality players.
Juventus-owned Daniele Rugani is one to keep an eye on, as the cultured defender seeks some much-needed experience this term.
18. Hellas Verona
Major Arrivals: Rafael Marquez, Javier Saviola Major Departures: Juan Manuel Iturbe, Romulo
Hellas appear much weaker than last term, looking highly unlikely to repeat a campaign which saw them finish in 10th place. Leading scorer Luca Toni is now a 37-year-old striker, and it is difficult to imagine him getting near last year’s tally of 20 goals.
The departure of Juan Manuel Iturbe and Romulo will hinder those hopes, as the two men were responsible for creating countless chances in 2013-14. It speaks volumes for their summer business that Rafael Marquez is their biggest signing despite turning 36 in February.
Major Arrivals: Samuele Longo Major Departures: Davide Astori, Mauricio Pinilla
With Massimo Cellino now in charge at Leeds, Cagliari have also suffered the loss of some of their best players in recent months. Davide Astori joined former team-mate Radja Nainggolan at Roma, while striker Mauricio Pinilla headed to Genoa this summer.
Replacing them with much poorer players, the Sardinian side look set for a tough campaign and can be expected to be drawn into the relegation battle.
Major Arrivals: None Major Departures: Maxi Lopez, Shkodran Mustafi
Last season saw Sampdoria mired in mid-table mediocrity, but their summer transfer campaign means even that may be beyond them this term. Sinisa Mihajlovic returns as coach but must cope without Maxi Lopez and World Cup winner Shkodran Mustafi this term, losses which may see the Genoa-based club battle relegation.
Major Arrivals: None Major Departures: Dusan Basta, Roberto Pereyra
It was once again a summer of departures at the Stadio Friuli, with the move into the boardroom of Francesco Guidolin perhaps the biggest change. Replacing him on the bench is Andrea Stramaccioni, the young tactician who struggled at Inter but who many believe has a bright future in the game.
He will have to, just as his predecessor always did, cope with the loss of the club’s best players, with both Dusan Basta and Roberto Pereyra moving on. Of course, he will rely upon the timeless form of Antonio Di Natale, as the veteran striker netted twice this past weekend.
Major Arrivals: None Major Departures: Kyle Lafferty, Abel Hernandez
Back in Serie A, Palermo face a difficult challenge to stay in the top flight with a squad barely strengthened over the summer. The loss of Abel Hernandez will hurt the side, whose hopes rest on last season’s star man Franco Vazquez to perform once again in 2014-15.
Major Arrivals: Francesco Lodi Major Departures: Marco Parolo, Mattia Cassani, Amauri
After a hugely impressive season last time round, Roberto Donadoni starts the new campaign with a squad weakened in every area. Mattia Cassani, Marco Parolo and Amauri represent a major loss in each department, ones which the arrival of the inconsistent Francesco Lodi is unlikely to overcome.
Major Arrivals: None Major Departures: Mario Yepes, Giacomo Bonaventura
After finishing in an impressive 11th place last term, Atalanta’s best business was seemingly to retain the majority of last season’s squad. Mario Yepes was the only high-profile departure, the Colombian defender leaving as his contract with the club expired.
However, with just a few hours of the window remaining, Milan swooped to sign Giacomo Bonaventura, robbing coach Stefano Colantuono of one of his most crucial figures.
Major Arrivals: Iago Falque, Mauricio Pinilla Major Departures: Alberto Gilardino
Genoa’s main business this summer was to retain Gian Piero Gasperini, marking the first time since 2010 that a coach has been kept on for the following season at the club. On the field, top scorer Alberto Gilardino left for China, and the club must hope the newly acquired Mauricio Pinilla can fill in for the World Cup winner.
Major Arrivals: Nicola Leali Major Departures: Michele Camporese
The newly promoted side appear to have replaced the majority of players from their Serie B campaign with names they feel will cope better with the demands of top-flight football.
Pierpaolo Bisoli has some exciting young talent at his disposal, with perhaps Juventus-owned goalkeeper Nicola Leali chief among them. He helped the side record an opening-day victory over Parma as the rebuilt squad began its quest for survival.
Major Arrivals: Michu Major Departures: Edu Vargas, Pepe Reina, Goran Pandev
Napoli suffered a big loss with Pepe Reina opting to join Bayern Munich rather than remain at the Stadio San Paolo, but otherwise effectively stood still this summer. Michu’s arrival from Swansea is undoubtedly an improvement on Goran Pandev, but that move aside, Rafael Benitez has largely the same squad at his disposal.
Major Arrivals: Marco Parolo, Stefan de Vrij Major Departures: Helder Postiga
After the major loss of Hernanes in January, Lazio enjoyed a strong summer, retaining big names like Antonio Candreva and Miroslav Klose. The additions of Marco Parolo and Stefan de Vrij further bolster the pool of talent available to Stefano Pioli as the coach seeks to steady the ailing Biancocelesti.
Major Arrivals: Francesco Bardi, Alberto Paloschi Major Departures: None
Often viewed as Serie A’s dullest side, Chievo enjoyed a relatively drama-free transfer window, taking a few important steps to secure key players. The biggest news was the outright purchase of Milan youth product Alberto Paloschi, the striker who netted 13 goals for the Veronese club last term.
Chievo also upgraded at goalkeeper, bringing in Inter’s Italy U21 stopper Francesco Bardi, as the club hope to avoid relegation once again.
Major Arrivals: None Major Departures: None
Perhaps the one major club to make the biggest improvement by simply standing still, Fiorentina should be much-improved in 2014-15. Juan Cuadrado was widely expected to move but remains in the famous Viola shirt and will be joined by a number of other impressive names.
If Mario Gomez and Giuseppe Rossi stay fit, Vincenzo Montella’s side could improve upon last season’s fourth-placed finish and challenge for a Champions League berth.
Major Arrivals: Pablo Osvaldo, Nemanja Vidic Major Departures: Javier Zanetti, Ricky Alvarez
A mixed transfer window for Inter, but one the Nerazzurri believe will improve their prospects overall. Nemanja Vidic will be expected to provide the leadership lost as so many veteran players moved on, most notably retired captain Javier Zanetti.
His compatriots Esteban Cambiasso, Walter Samuel and Diego Milito also moved on, but Walter Mazzarri will hope the space benefits the likes of Andrea Ranocchia and Mateo Kovacic.
Major Arrivals: Alvaro Morata, Patrice Evra Major Departures: Mauricio Isla
The biggest departure in Turin was obviously that of Antonio Conte, as Juve’s season will depend on their ability to overcome the loss of their talismanic coach. The additions of Patrice Evra and Alvaro Morata provide Massimiliano Allegri with tactical flexibility, while the versatile Romulo more than covers Mauricio Isla’s exit.
Holding on to Arturo Vidal is a hugely important move, as the player is undoubtedly the star of this title-winning team. However, the lack of a top-level attacking player could once again haunt the Bianconeri in Europe, with the club missing out on a number of targets in this area.
Major Arrivals: Alex, Jeremy Menez, Fernando Torres Major Departures: Mario Balotelli, Bryan Cristante
The opinion on Milan’s transfer window depends entirely on how the Rossoneri perform after the sale of Mario Balotelli. If the squad gels and performs well without his distractions, then the summer will undoubtedly be regarded as a success.
Pippo Inzaghi should benefit from enjoying an entire pre-season with his players, while Alex and Jeremy Menez should boost the side. Fernando Torres could have a major impact on the view of this Milan too, his form a profound influence on the campaign ahead.
It must be noted that the sale of Bryan Cristante is disappointing to Milan fans, with the midfielder seemingly set for a promising career. That said, the capture of Giacomo Bonaventura is clearly an upgrade that boosts the depth of talent available to Inzaghi.
Major Arrivals: Juan Manuel Iturbe, Ashley Cole Major Departures: Mehdi Benatia
Fresh from a strong second-place finish, Roma hope this season they can mount an even stronger challenge to Juventus, and that was reflected in their early transfer business. Pipping the Bianconeri to Juan Manuel Iturbe was a huge boost, and the Hellas winger will complement the team perfectly, providing another dangerous attacking weapon.
Ashley Cole should add some veteran leadership to the defence, but the loss of Mehdi Benatia cannot be understated. The Morrocan international was the lynchpin of their back line last term, and his move to Bayern Munich surely will weaken Rudi Garcia’s chances.
Major Arrivals: None Major Departures: Luca Marrone
Sassuolo, much like Atalanta, have done their best business by retaining the players who served them so well in 2013-14. A tumultuous campaign ultimately resulted in their survival, and Eusebio Di Francesco will hope that experience translates to a better season this time around.
The club held on to Domenico Berardi and Simone Zaza, two supremely talented strikers who should net enough goals to fire the Neroverdi up the table. They may have Juventus in their respective futures, but for now they belong to a highly intriguing Sassuolo, who should be fun to watch this term.