Football

Serie A 2017/18: Will there be a race for the Scudetto this season?

With Juventus winning 6 straight Scudetti it’s fair to say that competition in Serie A has been non-existent over recent years. However, with AC Milan on an outlandish spending splurge and Juventus on the verge of losing most of their defensive backline, perhaps we could be seeing a power shift in Italy’s top flight. New managers at Inter and Roma might also be the catalyst for positive change, which could see them give the Old Lady a run for their money this season. Nevertheless, even if Juventus do end up champions at the end of this campaign, it would be refreshing to see someone at least threaten the perpetual trophy monopoly that the Bianconeri has had over the Scudetto in recent years.

With AC Milan signing 10 players in under 3 weeks, it’s obvious that the Rossoneri are attempting to quickly rid themselves of their past failures. With big money coming in from Chinese investors, coupled with a very liberal attitude to spending in the transfer market we are seeing somewhat of a revolution at the Milan club.

(AC Milan kicked off the new season with an emphatic 3-0 away win) 

However, the question remains as to how these new players will gel, as it will take a great deal of time to cement any sort of chemistry within the team. On the other hand however, what Milan do have now is squad depth which they’ve lacked in previous years. The ability to rotate will be a powerful asset which will stand them in good stead for the upcoming season. Title contenders though? Probably not. A return to the Champions League would be a more realistic target.

New life has also been breathed into Inter and Roma, with Luciano Spaletti and Eusebio Di Francesco taking charge respectively. However, for Roma to launch a realistic title challenge they would need to strengthen their squad significantly, providing themselves with the depth that they so desperately lacked last season.

“Eusebio Di Francesco enjoyed great success at Sassuolo before he was appointed Roma manager”

 

During the current transfer market however they haven’t chosen to waste any time, bringing in 9 new signings including Hector Moreno from PSV Eindhoven and Bruno Peres from Torino. However, the losses of Mo Salah to Liverpool and Wojciech Szczesny to Juventus will certainly be damaging for the Giallorossi, as they were arguably their two best players for the best part of last season.

Inter on the other hand have not been spending as much as their counterparts in the summer transfer market, signing only 3 players whilst losing defender Juan Jesus to Roma. With Ivan Perisic also being linked with Man United, it seems like Inter will have a lot of work to do if they are to keep up with other top teams in Italy.

There have also been big reshuffles in Turin, with champions Juventus losing fullback Dani Alves to PSG, as well as Leonardo Bonucci to rival’s AC Milan. Nevertheless, despite these big losses the Old Lady have brought in some new recruits, signing the likes of Mattia De Sciglio to replace Dani Alves, as well as wingers Federico Bernadeschi from Fiorentina and Douglas Costa from Bayern Munich.

“Douglas Costa, right, has bolstered Juventus’ attacking options after signing on loan from Bayern Munich”

Losing Bonucci will undoubtedly leave a huge hole in the Old Lady’s defence, and it’s logical to conclude that Juventus will be leaking more goals in the coming season. However versatility and depth has always been the team’s strong point, and so even with a weakened defence their diverse attacking arsenal will surely be a source of ammunition which can be utilised to great effect.

With Juventus losing some key players and their counterparts making strides, perhaps we are seeing a threat to the Old Lady’s dominance in Italy’s top flight. Selling off important defenders will surely mean that the Juventus wall is slowly coming down; yet the question remains as to whether Italy’s other top teams will be able to exploit and ultimately usurp the Turin giants. Time will tell, but at the very least we are likely to see more of a shake-up, that will surely bring a degree of unpredictability to Serie A next season.

Tito Domenico Simonelli

Featured image courtesy of ‘Leandro Ceruti’ via Wikipedia

Image courtesy of AC Milan official twitter page.

Image courtesy of Roberto Vicario via Wikipedia.

Image courtesy of ‘Audi AG’ via Flickr. 

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