The January transfer market was a hot topic during Monday’s Lazialita in TV broadcast, but the conversation was quickly dominated, and sidetracked, by a debate about Mauro Zarate. The winter transfer window generally attracts less attention than the main transfer period in the summer, but after last year it has become especially interesting to Lazio supporters.
Last January Lazio was clearly struggling, and they made some decisive deals to turn things around, bringing in Floccari, Dias, Biava and Hitzlsperger. Floccari was considered to be the most important of these reinforcements, with question marks surrounding Dias, and modest expectations for the Biava and Hitzlsperger. As we all now know, Floccari’s impact was immediate, with Dias not far behind. Biava didn’t impress much last year, but has really came into to form this season, and Hitzlsperger, despite showing some promise in his limited playing time, was gone a few months later. That means three of this year’s key players arrived last January.
This has given some Lazio supporters the idea that Lotito (and Tare) is something of a winter transfer specialist. That he perceives certain opportunities, and bargains, that cannot be found in the major summer market. Whether or not this is actually the case remains to be seen, but the rumors about Lazio’s dealings are already starting to fly.
The Corriere Dello Sport is focusing on three names (in order of likelyhood): Portuguese defender Fernando Meira, who can apparently get out of his contract with Zenit St. Petersburg; Portuguese forward Hugo Almeida; and Juventus midfielder Mohamed Sissoko, something of a “dream” transfer.
I’ll leave any comments regarding the merits of these players up to you, and instead stick to the broader question Lazio is faced with: should they even try to bring in new players, or should they leave the team as it is? The starting eleven are essentially solidified at this point, and bringing an outsider into the mix could disturb the current chemistry the team enjoys. They could certainly use some added depth on the bench, but it’s hard to find a decent player willing to transfer here, knowing ahead of time he will not play very much.
The general consensus seems to be that Lazio should wait and see. Wait and see how things are going when the first half of the season is complete. If things continue to go as they have so far, only a superstar or very solid supporting (read bench) player would be worth the trouble. But if things don’t continue to go so well…