The FourFourTwo Season Preview 2015/16: Serie A
3. The Crazy Gang
Sampdoria owner Massimo Ferrero made a name for himself last season for morris-dancing on the pitch, wearing a club pashmina like Rambo, propositioning TV presenters and generally giving the impression that he was high on life. After predicting Samp would win the first leg of their Europa League play-off against Vojvodina 4-0 only for them to lose by the same scoreline, he brought artful dodger and serial prankster Antonio Cassano back to the club. Cassano has been bombarding Balotelli with texts to persuade him to join, too...
Mo Salah turned out to mean Mo problems for Fiorentina. A revelation on loan from Chelsea last January, they had an option for another season and seized it, only for the player to produce another piece of paper claiming he had a veto. Convinced that his head had been turned by Inter, he instead joined Roma. That wasn’t the only transfer farrago to keep us entertained this summer. Jilted by Jackson Martinez and defeated in the first ‘derby’ of the summer when Inter beat them to the €35m signing of Geoffrey Kondogbia, Milan consoled themselves with Bacca and then went after Alessio Romagnoli, the new Nesta. Complaining about the €30m asking price, Sinisa Mihajlovic said: “I like strawberries but they shouldn’t cost as much as oysters.”
How then do you think he celebrated after Milan finally agreed a fee? That’s right: by ordering a plate of strawberries and oysters. Milan’s extravagance owes much to Bee Taechaubol being prepared to front an absurd €480m for a 48% stake in the club. Contrast that with poor old Parma. They have been forced to put their UEFA Cups up for sale following their relegation to the fourth tier.
Youngsters to spy on
Paul Pogba (22) and Felipe Anderson (21) are now even more conspicuous after Juventus and Lazio awarded them the No.10 shirt. Federico Bernardeschi (21) has also received the same honour from Fiorentina. Paulo Dybala (21) has a huge price tag to live up to in Turin, as does Pogba’s international team-mate and rival at Inter, Kondogbia (22). Italy’s centre-back pairing of the future, Romagnoli (20 - read our Alessio Romagnoli talentspotter profile) and Daniele Rugani (21 - read our Daniele Rugani talentspotter profile) will add interest to encounters between Milan and Juventus. The Old Lady expects Kingsley Coman (18 - read our Kingsley Coman profile) to start fulfilling his promise and still has an option on Sassuolo wonderkid Domenico Berardi (21). Also be sure to look out for Ricardo Kishna and Ravel Morrison at Lazio. Their attitude may have been questioned in the past but their talent is indisputable.