Aug 19, 2010

Too Good a Summer for Genoa...?

By Gautam Sharma

Genoa are buying a player who impressed in the World Cup (Boateng) only to loan him to Milan... a role reversal?? Yeah, its been that kinda summer... Genoa have surprisingly been the biggest movers in Serie A this summer. But is this their usual scatter-brained approach to the transfer market, or is there more method to the madness this time...?
Ranocchia. Toni. Boateng. Veloso. Eduardo. Rafinha. This may look like the transfer wishlist of Juventus, but it actually is a list of just some of the players Genoa have bought this summer! These are some exellent transfers for the mid table club, but Genoa have been a bit scatter brained when it comes to transfers in the past... they did so many transfers last season (they actually owned Ranocchia and Bonucci at one point, only to let them go to Bari!) and still ended up with a poor season finish at 9th! It is a problem of changing too much too often, is this year any different?

Lets look at the transfers in isolation first... They have done well from sales this year, getting decent money for the likes of Bonucci, Papa, Ranocchia, Amelia, Zapater, etc. And have bought reasonably well too... Toni, Eduardo, Ranocchia, Veloso, Chico & Rafinha are all excellent and ambitious additions. Plus they have bought full rights for Criscito. There are some lessor known signings like Angelo, Rudolf, Zigoni, etc but Destro from Inter is a promising back up. Lets take a look at all the transfers:

GENOA Transfers
IN: Diego Angelo (m, Nacional); Esposito (d, Livorno), Eduardo (gk, Sporting Braga) Ranocchia (d, Bari), Rudolf (a, Debrecen), Toni (a, Bayern Munich), Zigoni (a, Milan), Oduamadi (a, Milan), Chico (d, Almeria), Destro (a, Inter), Veloso (m, Sporting), Rafinha (d, Schalke), Boateng (m, Portsmouth)
OUT: Aleksic (a, Crotone), Zapater (m, Sporting), Amelia (gk, Milan), Bolzoni (m, Siena), A Esposito (d, Bologna), Ledesma (m, Crotone), Meggiorini (a, Bologna), Papastathopoulos (d, Milan), Acquafresca (f, Cagliari), Boateng (m, Milan), Sculli (a, Inter)

Tactically, Veloso was an awesome transfer coup, as he can replace the aging Milanetto. Eduardo more than adequately replaces Amelia. Toni could prove to be their trump card, he has a lot to prove and looked decent at Roma. Their defence has improved considerably this summer with the additions of the talented Ranocchia and the solid Chico... And Rafinha & Criscito are top fullbacks, they could trouble some big teams.... I am sure they will now sell some more players, but their squad is looking quite decent:

Genoa Squad
Gks: Eduardo, Scarpi, Perin
Def: Ranocchia, Bocchetti, Criscito, Rafinha, Dainelli, Angelo, Fatic, Moretti, Vanden Borre, Chico, Tomovic
Mid: Veloso, Kharja, M Rossi, Jankovic, Zuculini, Mesto, Milanetto, Modesto
Str: Toni, Palladino, Destro, Rudolf, Palacio, Boakye, Zigoni
This squad has some great names, but lets see how they fare together in the Two Team Test (in a 4231 formation):
Starting XI:

Rafinha - Ranocchia - Bocchetti - Criscito
Veloso - Rossi
Palladino - Kharja - Palacio

Backup XI:

Mesto - Dainelli - Chico- Moretti
Milanetto - Zuculini
Rudolf - Jankovic - Destro

Thats not bad at all... not as scatter-brained as their previous transfer campaigns, even if its still a lot of change. The first team is very good, and if Toni and Kharja click and stay injury free, this team could fight for a CL spot. But what is more interesting is the back up team - its awesome quality for a mid table club... If Genoa can make this squad gel, this could be their season. On paper, they definately look stronger than their Champions League participating city cousins.
The key question is whether Genoa can make so many changes gel in time... a question which has proved to be their undoing in recent past...

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