Parma Season Preview: Are They in Serie A to Stay?
Gervinho a force for Parma
Photo credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images

After gaining promotion to Serie A last season, Parma Calcio 1913 will be looking to solidify their spot in the top flight.

After a soul-crushing bankruptcy in 2015, the club was re-formed and took the fast track from Serie D to Serie A, being the first club in Italy to earn consecutive promotions from each league, landing in the top flight last season.

Parma were formerly a Serie A mainstay since the 1990s, launching and shaping the careers of players like Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Hernan Crespo, Gianfranco Zola, and more.

With such glory in their past, this year’s squad face the pressure of not only maintaining their Serie A status but also improving and climbing the table for the opportunity to re-create the magical Parma team of the past.

Transfer Market

Parma made some clever investments in the Mercato this summer in their plight to maintain their Serie A berth. They purchased the young striker Andrea Adorante from Inter Milan for €5 million, redeemed their obligation to buy centre forward Roberto Inglese from Napoli after two seasons on loan, and picked up striker Walid Cheddira from Sangiustese as well as free agent Luca Zamparo, formerly of Reggiana, for depth up front.

They invested €2.3 million in Lazio’s right winger, Mattia Sprocati, and also took Yann Karamoh on loan from Inter, who plays on the right wing as well. As for midfielders, they grabbed Gaston Brugman and José Machin from Pescara for €2.5 million and €2 million respectively, then took Hernani on loan from Zenit for the season.

Finally, they added depth at the back with a centre back on a free transfer called Kastriot Dermaku, formerly of Serie B side Cosenza. They picked up goalkeeper Simone Colombi from Carpi and then added another goalkeeper who was a free agent, Fabrizio Alastra, formerly of the bankrupt Palermo. With a handful of sales, they were able to generate some funds to be able to reinforce their squad while spending less than €5 million beyond their sales. Certainly, from a business standpoint, they are looking to remain in Serie A.

Manager

Parma have the strength of consistency at the manager level in Roberto D’Aversa. He has been managing the team since 2016, when they were in Serie C. Under his tutelage, they were promoted to Serie B in his first season, then he saw them promoted again to Serie A the very next year.

He stayed at the helm last year for their return to Serie A, and although they had a little relegation scare toward the end of the season, he was able to keep them up to fight another season in the top flight. The former midfielder gives Parma security and stability to keep growing and climbing higher in the league.

Player to Watch

Everyone will be watching the seemingly ageless Gervinho, whom at the age of 32 year of age scored 11 very important goals for Parma last season. The former Roma, Arsenal, and Lille man was a huge boon to keeping Parma in Serie A last season, and a joy for fans to watch.

But someone else that could take it to the next level this season is Roberto Inglese, who made good on their obligation to buy from Napoli after being on loan the past two seasons. Last season, the striker scored nine goals in 25 matches. As a player who is great in the air and also a set piece threat, expect that goal tally to climb this season now that the team are settled into Serie A.

Young Player to Watch

Parma’s exciting young player did not come through their youth system, but is rather a player they purchased this summer from Inter Milan’s youth system. Andrea Adorante is a centre forward who played for Inter’s Primavera (U17) team, scoring 15 goals in 30 appearances in their league.

Adorante is currently recovering from a cruciate ligament rupture, but is expected back soon. His transfer fee was impressive, despite being only 19 years old, and also presently injured. Although Parma have taken another striker on loan from Atalanta, Adorante is the kind of player who will earn himself some playing time and will be able to impress with any time given.

Certainly he will find more time at Parma than he would have at Inter, and with Parma historically launching the careers of great players, Adorante is one to watch for the future.

Season Prediction

Parma should improve upon their 14th place finish from last year. But whether or not they will crack the top 10 remains to be seen. With consistency at the helm and improvements in the transfer window, don’t be surprised to see them not only stay in Serie A, but climb to an even  more respectable position this season.

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