Immediately after the season was over, it became obvious that Stephan Lichsteiner had chosen to leave Lazio. As usual, Lotito was willing to fulfill player`s desire but of course, if the buying team would meet the asked price. From day one and in particular following appointment of new manager, Juve was on pole for the player`s signature, which they ultimately got but following lengthy negotiations with a stubborn and principled Claudio Lotito.
However, as soon as it became apparent that Lichti was going away, Lazio began the chase for his replacement. Several names were circulating from Konko, Tamas, Cassani, Aggueragay(!), Faubert and some others. Lotito immediately struck an agreement with his pal Preziosi of Genoa for Abdoulay Konko, but the negotiations stalled when he started negotiating personal terms with the player. Apparently he was earning a salary at Genoa which Lazio could not provide thus he was requested to take a pay cut. He rejected at first but once Lazio turned to other options (more seriously to Palermo`s Matia Cassani) an agreement was ultimately found.
Where does Konko fit in the new Lazio ?
Now it is a no-brainer that Konko will be a starter with Lazio, regardless if Edy Reja opts with a 4 men defense, or goes with the 3 at the back. In the latter case, Konko will have to move and play more as midfielder. Based on the information collected on this player thus far, it is evident that Konko is more of an attacking mind right back and it will be interesting to see his performance in defense. Edy Reja knew the player well and requested him apparently. He has more than a month and a half to ready him for the new season.
In a conclusion, replacing Lichsteiner won`t be an easy task for the Frenchman. His predecessor was a player with a high work rate and his defensive performance was second to none among the Serie A right backs. If Reja opts for a defense with 4, a tough summer awaits Abdoulay Konko to adjust to Reja`s needs.