Lazio have confirmed the signing of midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Genk, in a bid to strengthen the squad ahead of the Serie A season.
For today and tomorrow
The move has both immediate and future implications as the 20-year-old Milinkovic-Savic will compete for a place this season while providing the team with another young piece to build around. Club sporting director Igli Tare confirmed to the Gazzetta dello Sport that the move will cost Lazio €9 million.
The Roman club is attempting to build on a highly-successful season in which they placed third in Serie A, while pushing Juventus to the limit in the Coppa Italia Final.
Adding the young Serbian will certainly improve their chances.
The imposing (6’3”) central midfielder has the technical ability to succeed in Europe while also capable of chipping in with goals. He showed his worth in leading the Serbia Under-20 team to the U-20 World Cup title, picking up the Bronze Ball trophy on the way.
Attacking options galore
Milinkovic-Savic’s addition means that Lazio’s growing core will become even more tantalizing going forward. The midfielder joins a team with a number of promising young players. One of last season’s summer signings, Stefan de Vrij is only 23, while Felipe Anderson, Ravel Morrison and Ogenyi Onazi are only 22. The team possess even more youth with 21-year-old Danilo Cataldi and 20-year-old Keita Balde Diao.
In addition to providing more youth, the Serbian will strengthen an already-deep central midfield area. The team already employs Cataldi as well as Italian international Marco Parolo and Argentine stalwart Lucas Biglia. Milinkovic-Savic could slide into the third central midfield slot in a 4-3-3 formation alongside Parolo and Biglia while serving in a deeper role in a number of positions.
After a disappointing preseason in which Lazio lost consecutive friendlies to the likes of Vicenza, Anderlecht, Sigma Olomouc and Mainz 05, the team could use a boost heading into Saturday’s Supercoppa Italiana match against Juventus. The team will certainly hope Milinkovic-Savic provides that boost during not only for the match, but during the season.
With Champions League football potentially on the horizon, Lazio will need all the depth and talent it can get. Milinkovic-Savic provides not only depth and talent, but also the ability to impact games—something the Roman club will need in order to make strides domestically and in Europe.