Call it the Bonucci factor: there’s a strong suspicion that the failure to replace former fans favourite Leo will prove costly at one point of the season. Worse, even, that this could cost them the CL – or the title! The Bianconeri would be wise to add to the central defence, and rush the arrival of Lazio’s Stefan De Vrij – rumoured to sign next year on a Bosman. Give Lotito €20m and get the man now.
The newly-assembled Milan is said to be worthy of a scudetto challenge. However I feel it’s too early in the season to say whether that is truly the case. Sure, the names of Bonucci, Kessie, Conte, Rodriguez, Musacchio, Kalinic are nice to read esp after last season, but are we talking about the same stuff as Juve? Mmmh. One tip: more than buying another player, cling on to free-scoring young gun Patrick Cutrone. He could come handy if neither Kalinic nor Andre Silva manage to consistently find the net.
The Nerazzurri look rejuvenated under Luciano Spalletti and very shrewd indeed. They survived Roma’s heaving bombardment to nick the game 1-3 at the Olimpico on Saturday. Chinese owners Suning embargoed any further signing, which is a shame, all the more so looking at their neighbour’s lavish spending. A marquee signing could have bolstered Inter’s ambitions. Now the advice is: don’t lose Perisic.
Just before I was about to write those lines, I was commenting with another Calcio expert how Lazio’s Keita Balde could tip the balance in favour of whoever signed the mercurial Senegalese. And then came the Monaco news… Too bad for Napoli: he would have added such firepower to an already impressive attack. It’s more between the sticks that a reinforcement is needed: a new goalie to replace Reina would have been welcome but maybe not Sociedad’s Rulli.
The arrival of Patrick Schick is pure Monchi stuff but will it appease a demanding fanbase mourning the retirement of Francesco Totti? The summer’s lacklustre signings mark a step back for the US-based owners. Hadn’t he extended his contract, Sassuolo’s Berardi was the perfect fit. Even better, getting Torino’s Andrea Bellotti could have sprung passion again amongst Roma tifosi – but the Italy striker is probably too similar with Edin Dzeko.