By Football Italian staff It’s a tale of two transfer windows.
The first one is the one that began with Mario Balotelli’s departure from AC Milan and led to the signing of Lazio striker Alessandro Del Piero in July.
And the second one, this one in September, saw the Italian giants move into the Champions League for the first time since 1996 and bring a new generation of talent to Serie A. The difference between the two is that in one window you’ve got the best of the best and in the other you’re left with a team without the best players in the world.
The only thing that really separates the two, it’s the money that was spent on players.
In the summer of 2018, AC Milan spent €100m on striker Paulo Dybala, who will turn 35 in February.
That’s €6m more than Liverpool paid to sign Luis Suarez.
In addition, Balotellini’s departure was the biggest signing in Italian football history, with the striker’s €50m buy-out clause.
The following summer, Lazio paid €55m for striker Carlos Alberto.
The Brazilian was reportedly unhappy with the way the move went down and made it clear he would leave for Milan if they didn’t offer him €80m.
When the deal was completed, Balutelli and Alberto were both linked to Lazio.
In January 2019, both players signed new contracts with the Rossoneri.
The Italian club were also in the market for a striker when they brought in the Brazilian, and the club decided that they were willing to sell Balutellini to them for €100 million.
It wasn’t exactly a shock to see the Rossonero’s bid for the striker go through, as Balotella was a proven goalscorer, and Lazio had plenty of goals to fall back on, and Balotello had scored at a high rate in his time with AC Milan.
Balotrelli’s arrival has made the Rossoni an elite team, as the Serie A title has been secured, and he has become the club’s all-time leading scorer with 16 goals.
Lazio have since won the title, and they have reached the Champions’ League semi-finals this season.
They have also managed to get back to the Europa League round of 16 after they were eliminated in the group stage by Roma.
There are still plenty of questions surrounding the future of Balotlini, but if they can keep him in Italy, and not lose him to another club for €50 million, that’s a good outcome.