The transfer window gives every club the opportunity to either improve in the short term, cutting the gap or build for the future, laying foundations that will bear fruit in the years to come.
Regardless of the price tag and the profile of the signings, we have picked the players that had the best impact on Serie A. Some of them had to prove detractors wrong or caught everyone by surprise, others simply did a brilliant job by meeting high expectations.
Here are our top 10 signings for the 2019/20 season.
Chris Smalling (Roma)
Many casted doubts on Roma’s decision to bring in the English defender. However, his experience and personality were crucial to lead a Giallorossi side which included many youngsters, although he was also affected by the team’s inconsistency at times. Unfortunately for both parties, it looks like Roma won’t be able to make the Smalling deal permanent but his Serie A spell was more than convincing overall.
Ashley Young (Inter)
Many people could have raised an eyebrow last January when Antonio Conte picked the 34-year-old (now 35) to fix Inter’s never-ending issues on the left flank, in a league which hasn’t always been a perfect fit for English players. However, with four goals and four assists he’s proved to be much more than an interim solution.
Ismael Bennacer (AC Milan)
AC Milan had been looking for a skilled midfielder for many years but were forced to looked at low-budget options last summer, deciding to sign Bennacer from a relegated Empoli side. They picked a player who combines great technique with relevant defensive skills, such as a relentless engine that makes him a tough nut to crack for every opponent but the feeling is that is evolution has just started as he has everything he needs to become one of the most complete midfielder on the international scene.
Sofyan Amrabat (Verona)
While intensity and relentless work are key to Ivan Juric’s style, all of it was made possible thanks to Amrabat, yet another brilliant signing that an Italian outfit made from Belgium. The Moroccan midfielder pulled the strings in a dynamic Verona side, raising or slowing down the rhythm depending on his team’s needs, showcasing a unique ability to keep possession under extreme pressure.
Ruslan Malinovskyi (Atalanta)
Only a few really knew about the talents of the third most expensive player in Atalanta’s history, who had to patiently wait for his time as Gian Piero Gapserini tried to incorporate him in his system. Following the turn of the year, the Ukrainian was pure dynamite, as his terrific left foot was a constant danger for every opponent and his resolute attitude allowed him to impact his team’s fortunes positively in many games.
Luis Muriel (Atalanta)
After a total of seven-and-a-half seasons in Serie A, everyone knew what to expect from Luis Muriel – brilliant games alternated with anonymous performances. However, Gasperini must have seen far beyond that and understood that the Colombian was ready to reach his peak. As a result, Atalanta could rely on a striker that, despite often starting from the bench, was able to make an impact in almost every single game he came on in, bagging an impressive 18 goals.
Franck Ribery (Fiorentina)
It was tempting for someone to define Serie A as a graveyard when the Italian league welcomed a 36-year-old Ribery. However, Fiorentina were absolutely right in gambling on the Frenchman, who looked extremely motivated to prove he could make a difference outside of the Bundesliga. Although an injury forced him to miss many games, he still had enough time to deliver several masterclasses – his display against AC Milan will linger in our minds for many years.
Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo)
If someone thought that last year’s 16 goals with Empoli were a one-off, the 32-year-old striker took advantage of an offensive Sassuolo side to put his scoring prowess on show once more and prove himself to be one of the most formidable Italian late-bloomers in recent years. His impressive 21-goal haul included strikes against Juventus, Inter, Milan, Lazio and Roma, further proof of the fact that Caputo has thrived under Roberto De Zerbi.
Theo Hernandez (AC Milan)
With one of their most brilliant deals in recent years AC Milan snatched the French left full-back from Real Madrid, bringing in a player who is amongst the best prospects in that position in Europe. Surprisingly, he found no trouble in adapting to a very tactical league as his speed and control of the ball allowed him to cause havoc even against the most solid defences.
Romelu Lukaku (Inter)
It took the Belgian a handful of games to make everyone forget about his apparent faults and the €70 million cheque that Inter deposited to sign him. As expected, Lukaku’s great physicality gave him a major advantage against Serie A defenders but his contribution was much wider, as he became pivotal to Antonio Conte’s style of play and built a unique partnership with Lautaro Martinez.