Luca Ferrato

Italy’s Serie A is tumbling towards its conclusion and as always there have been winners and losers. While Inter have continued to dominate and Roma have surprised, established powers Juventus and AC Milan have not had things all their own way. In fact, it’s probably not a surprise then that the Old Lady do not have one player on this list of the top 10 transfers in Serie A this season.

Let’s take a look at who made Serie A sit up and take notice:

1) Wesley Sneijder (Real Madrid to Inter; €16M)

Early last summer, in the transfer deal which took Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Barcelona, Inter chose Samuel Eto’o and Aleksandr Hleb, plus a big wedge of money as compensation. Hleb refused the move, preferring instead to head to Stuttgart. Inter’s fall-back was Wesley Sneijder, and quite by chance found their fortunes hitched to his for a large part of the season. Sneijder was impressive from his first touch at the San Siro (the 4-0 derby victory against Milan) and has been a key player in Mourinho’s Serie A and Champions League campaigns. Now, the Dutchman looks the coup of the summer.

2) Diego Milito (Genoa to Inter; €25M)

The Argentinian forward first set foot in Italy in the 2004/05 season, enjoying a truly wonderful season with Genoa, helping the Rossoblu into Serie A. Unfortunately, Enrico Preziosi (then and now the club’s president) was caught fixing their last Serie B match against Venezia, the result being Genoa’s banishment to the hell of Serie C. Milito left for Real Zaragoza in Spain, but came back in 2008, as Genoa gave him the Serie A football he had earned.

Last summer, Inter bought the forward for €25M, and Milito, at the time of writing, has managed 20 goals in Serie A and many decisive strikes in the Champions League. Undoubtedly a fine acquisition for the Nerazzurri.

3) Lucio (Bayern Munich to Inter; €7M)

This past summer Bayern Munich decided to release the captain of the Brazilian national team, convinced that his best years were behind him. Inter needed a strong and physical centre back and smelled a bargain for €7M. Lucio has not disappointed, producing impressive performance after impressive performance alongside fellow Nerazzurri defender Walter Samuel. The Brazilian has been particularly impressive in the Champions League, where he will meet, by chance, Bayern Munich in the final. How the Germans must rue their decision now.

4) Thiago Silva (Fluminense to AC Milan; €10M)

Adriano Galliani tied up a deal to buy Thiago Silva back in January 2009, but the Brazilian could not appear in Serie A as Milan had too many non-EU players. He began the season as a central defender and soon struck up a perfect partnership with Alessandro Nesta. The 25-year-old has regained his place in the Brazil squad and should be an important part of their push for the World Cup. He will also be an important part of the Milan side which look to win the Scudetto next season.

5) Nicolas Andrès Burdisso (Inter to Roma; loan)

Burdisso played in Milan for five years, but without ever really convincing the faithful he was top notch. Last summer the Argentina star accepted a proposal to move to Roma on loan, and after a difficult start to life in the capital became one of the most important players in Roma’s unexpected title push.

6) Sergio Floccari (Genoa to Lazio; loan)

Last July, Genoa bought Floccari from Atalanta to replace Milito who had headed to Inter. There were high expectations of the striker, but he failed to acclimatise to life in Liguria. In January, Lazio, who found themselves in a desperate scramble for points to avoid relegation, signed him on loan. Floccari instantly improved, scoring a double at the Stadio Olimpico against Livorno, and another in the following match in Udine. At the time of writing the loanee has scored seven goals in 15 games for Lazio, helping them to make sure of Serie A football next season.

7) Xavier Matias Pastore (Huracàn to Palermo; €6.5M)

Many European giants had followed Pastore in the past couple of years, but Maurizio Zamparini moved quicker than anybody else and took him to Palermo. The Argentinian is a very skilled "trequartista" who at times has resembled a young Kaka. Just 21 years old, Pastore has a great personality and hunger. Next season he could well light up the Champions League with the Aquile.

8)  Maxi Lopez (Gremio to Catania; €3M)

Probably the most important signing made in Serie A during the January transfer window. The Argentinian forward didn’t manage to impress in a spell with Barcelona in 2005/06, and after brief stints with Mallorca, FC Moscow and Gremio, arrived at Catania to meet newly appointed coach Sinisa Mihajlovic. Maxi has managed nine goals in 14 Serie A appearances so far, including goals against Inter, Milan and a wonderful "bicyleta" in the match with Livorno.

9) Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona to Inter; €20M)

The Cameroon star striker arrived at the San Siro as part of the Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Barcelona deal. The Swedish striker had left the Nerazzurri to win the Champions League with Pep Guardiola, but instead it’s Eto’o who contests the final on 22nd May. While the forward has not been as incisive as Milito this season, he has scored some important goals for Jose Mourinho’s side, especially a crucial strike away at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.

10) Anderson Da Silva (Nenè) (Nacional Madeira to Cagliari; €4.5M)

The 27-year-old Brazilian arrived in Sardinia without the burden of high expectation, but he has done very well indeed. Nenè helped Cagliari to ensure a quiet season in the middle of Serie A, far away from relegation worries. The striker has scored nine goals, and in the process attracted the attention of some of the league’s bigger clubs, like AC Milan.


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