The background to the deal
When confirmations appeared after the January transfer window closed that Lazio had submitted a bid for Lorik Cana, I must say this took me completely by surprise. Lorik Cana is my co-patriot and we must admit that all of us want that our co-patriots play for our favorite teams. I make no exception to this non-written rule. I felt bad upon realizing the attempts by Igli Tare had failed, as Galata were in trouble and Cana wanted to move only after the end of the current season. Galatasaray was having a bad time and knowing Lorik Cana`s personality I am sure he did not wish to leave the sinking ship that way.
So, after the season ended both in Italy and Turkey, rumors began to surface again that Lazio will again try to sign Lorik Cana. Reports in the Italian dailies insisted that Cana had become Lazio`s primary target for the midfield. Igli Tare knows Cana too well to ignore the qualities and experience he would provide Lazio. Edy Reja then focused his attention to the player and having seen him play he was convinced easily that he would be the perfect player to accompany Cristian Ledesma in Lazio`s midfield.
So, Lazio and Galatasary start negotiating. Cana promised Tare that he will join Lazio and personal terms were not difficult to strike. The stumble block was the evaluation of the player by the Turkish club. 2 million Euros were dividing the clubs. But then a totally unexpected circumstance arose which changed the landscape of the deal: Muslera failed to find the common language with Lotito to extend his contract and was immediately put for sale. And as Galatasaray was desperately looking for a keeper, an idea arose instantly for the exchange of Lorik Cana for Fernando Muslera. It took almost a month to convince the latter to sign for the Turkish club and thus unblock the entire deal. Ultimately, the deal went through: Lazio got Lorik Cana and nearly 3 mil Euros for Fernando Muslera who moved to Galatasaray.
In case you are not familiar with Lorik Cana, let me begin by saying that he is mostly known about his fighting spirit. Wherever he played, he was awarded the captain`s arm brand. In Marseille, then Sunderland, Albanian national team etc. He is a true leader and in one video circulating he is seen in the locker room while playing for Marseile shouting at Frank Ribery and Samir Nasri (and all others) how they have to give everything for the jersey they were wearing.
Cana is your pure defensive midfielder with an incredible work rate. He could be equally good if employed as central defender. He is aggressive on the opponent and reads the match well. Physically strong with a powerful shot and dangerous from the set-pieces. He is a fans favorite wherever he goes, mainly because he gives all for the teams he plays.
As Cristian Brocchi is passing his prime, Edy Reja could not have asked for a more quality alternative for such services. Expect Cristian Ledesma and Loric Cana to form a formidable due in the midfield. As soon as the training camp started at Auronzo di Cadore, Cana showed that he takes the camp very seriously and engaged in an exceptional manner. Having a long experience in international competitions, in particular featuring in Champions League and captaining his national team, Lorik Cana will bring to Lazio a true fighter, a genuine experience and a true team player.
I only wish Lorik Cana all the best with Lazio.