With the end of the summer transfer window, Football Italia previews the 2021-22 Serie A campaign and what to expect from Sampdoria. Words Stephen Kasiewicz.
A severe lack of investment and ambition means another middle of the road finish is likely for the Blucerchiati.
SAMPDORIA TRANSFERS IN
Ihattaren (S, PSV, Juve), Dragusin (D, Juve), Caputo (S, Sassuolo)
SAMPDORIA TRANSFERS OUT
Ramirez (M, out of contract), Regini (D, out of contract), Letica (G, Bruges), Keita (S, Monaco), La Gumina (S, Como), Leris (M, Brescia), Jankto (M, Getafe), Tonelli (D, Empoli), Rocha (D, Internacional), Caprari (S, Verona)
WHAT TO EXPECT
The last time Samp finished above ninth in the table was eight seasons ago and it is unlikely to change this term. A barren transfer market was dominated by incessant speculation regarding players leaving the club.
Uninhibited owner Massimo Ferrero even suggested young Danish talent Mikkel Damsgaard would make a great signing for his beloved Roma. Fabio Quagliarella will provide extraordinary goals and Damsgaard will undoubtedly shine, but defensive frailties and a lack of vitality in midfield remain.
COACH – ROBERTO D’AVERSA
Sacked by Parma following a dismal campaign in which they finished bottom of the table, the 46-year-old was an underwhelming choice as Samp coach. He spent a fleeting period as a player with the club 20 years ago, but returns with the unenviable task of emulating Claudio Ranieri.
Anything less than a top 10 finish would be considered a major disappointment this season. An early injury to key forward Manolo Gabbiadini wasn’t the ideal start to his tenure at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium.
CAPTAIN – FABIO QUAGLIARELLA
In what could potentially be his last season as a professional, the timeless symbol of the club continues to play a leading role for the Blucerchiati. The 38-year-old can always be relied upon to produce something out of the ordinary and recently marked a century of goals for Samp.
The veteran attacker is nearing the conclusion of a glittering career and will be keen to complete the season in style. He is guaranteed to provide at least one unforgettable goal of the highest quality as Samp target the upper half of the standings.
PLAYER TO WATCH – MIKKEL DAMSGAARD
The attacking midfielder dazzled at UEFA Euro 2020 with Denmark and will carry a hefty creative burden for Samp. Used sparingly by Ranieri in his first season in Italy, the prodigious talent will have an entirely different role at Samp this term.
From fringe player to a main cast member, he will be expected to supply goals, assists and initiate the play. Possessing quick feet, breathless torrents of acceleration and a mastery of free-kicks from distance, the 21-year-old is more than capable of living up to the hype generated by his brilliant European Championships displays.