Prior to this transfer window, the Italian league looked destined to repeat the goings-on of the previous season. However, this transfer window has changed everything.
Juventus have further strengthened their grip on the Italian league with the high profile signing of Carlos Tevez and the free transfer signing of Fernando Llorente. Although Fernando Llorente has been basically off form and on the bench with Athletic Bilbao for the last season, Juventus do have enough strikers in their squad to overcome what could be a rough few months to allow the prolific striker Llorente to find his best form.
Napoli having sold a proven goal scorer in Edinson Cavani, einvested all of the funds from the sale and have a fresh new squad with a brand new manager in Rafa Benitez. Under his tutelage, the recent buys of Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon can really shine in Serie A. However, it is important to note that with Real Madrid, Callejon was largely hit and miss, and Higuain was infamously unable to handle pressure moments as was obvious to the see in the Spanish League runner-ups’ 2009-10 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 failure versus Lyon where Gonzalo Higuain missed a few open goals which caused Real Madrid to crash out of Europe’s premier competition. But it’s important to remember that with Real Madrid, Higuain was set up as the sole striker with prolific winger Ronaldo usually spearheading the team. As long as Higuain can fill the goal scoring hole that’s been left by the sale of Cavani, the addition of Callejon and Albiol in to the team can only help the team to further progress on their strong 2nd place finish last season.
And then there is AC Milan. AC Milan made headlines by capturing Mario Balotelli, and along with Balotelli, El Shaarawy also burst on the scene to give AC Milan a Champions League place in finishing 3rd, but with a lack of signings this transfer window, AC Milan fans must be worried that the magic formula that gave them that season ending surge allowing them to finish in the final Champions League spot may now have been found out.
The biggest news coming out of Italy is of course Fiorentina. After many seasons of mid-table mediocrity this team rocketed itself into a Champions League position, only to be disappointed in ending up in the Europa League play-off position. With an already impressive squad, the addition of Josip Ilicic and what must be the bargain buy of the transfer window, Mario Gomez, Fiorentina can easily be expected to finish in a Champions League position this time around.
Perhaps even fighting with the likes of AC Milan and Napoli to get to that elusive 2nd second spot in the league. Although Mario Gomez has been on the bench and recovering from an injury with Bayern Munich in the previous season, he will be recovered and raring to go, taking the Italian league by storm, joined by a recovered Giuseppe Rossi, new recruit; exciting youngster Josip Ilicic, and the experienced midfielder from Malaga, Joaquin. These new recruits together will be more than capable to to go further than what the recently sold Stevan Jovetic was able to do with the Viola.
My prediction for Serie A top four 2013-14:
4) AC Milan