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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Transfers 2022-23

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

Lazio desperately needed a bit of a revolution before starting the 2022-2023 season. “We were not only the oldest team in Italy but one of the oldest in Europe”, said Maurizio Sarri at beginning of the season.

2022 Summer Transfers

Revolution needed? Revolution then it was. Seven new signings for the first team and lots of goodbyes.


We say goodbye to a few great players and a few not so great.

Lucas Leiva – his contract expired and both he and Lazio were not really all that interested in renewing it. Leiva therefore went back to Brazil to play for Gremio, his first club. He leaves Lazio after 198 appearances (155 in Serie A, 12 in Coppa Italia, 5 in Champions League, 24 in Europa League and 2 in Super Coppa), 4 goals (2 in Serie A and 2 in Europa League) and 3 trophies (2 Super Coppa and 1 Coppa Italia).

Luiz Felipe – another player with a contract that expired. This time it seemed that both parties were interesting in renewing but something must have happened during negotiations. Lazio, not pleased with Luiz’s behaviour, in the last match of the 2021-22 season against Verona “forgot” to thank him for his work, unlike Leiva and Thomas Strakosha. Anyway Luiz Felipe, a free agent, made a surprise move and signed a five-year contract with Real Betis. He leaves Lazio after playing 144 games (106 in Serie A, 10 in Coppa Italia, 4 in Champions League, 23 in Europa League and 1 in Super Coppa), 2 goals in Serie A and 3 trophies (2 Super Coppa and 1 Coppa Italia)

Jovane Cabral – everyone knew he was not going to stay since he was on loan from Sporting Lisbon, but there had been talk of him remaining in May and June. It was not to be and he went back to Portugal. He played 4 games with the Biancocelesti (3 in Serie A and 1 in Europa League) and 1 goal in Serie A. He was the first player from Cape Verde to score a goal in Serie A.

Thomas Strakosha – it was quite clear that he was not going to stay. His contract expired and he said he wanted to play in the Premier League. So, thank you and bye-bye. He signed a three-year contract with Brentford. He played 208 games for Lazio (164 in Serie A, 15 in Coppa Italia, 1 in Champions League, 26 in Europa League and 2 in Super Coppa), and won 3 trophies (2 Super Coppa and 1 Coppa Italia) and another three trophies at youth level (Scudetto, Coppa Italia and Super Coppa).

Pepe Reina – He had a two-year contract plus a possible extra year if Lazio qualified for Europe. He decided against renewing and went back to Villareal, one of his early clubs. He played 54 games for Lazio (44 in Serie A, 3 in Coppa Italia and 7 in Champions League).

Denis Vavro – returning home from his loan to Copenhagen, he was sold definitely again to the Danish team. Leaves after 21 matches (13 in Serie A, 2 in Coppa Italia and 6 in Europa League) and one trophy (Super Coppa).

Jordan Lukaku – completely out of Lazio for some time now, his contract finally expired. He played his last season on loan at Vicenza. He played 85 games for Lazio (66 in Serie A, 9 in Coppa Italia, 9 in Europa League and 1 in Super Coppa), scored one goal in Serie A and won three trophies (2 Super Coppa and 1 Coppa Italia). He will be forever remembered for that decisive play and assist to Alessandro Murgia in the dying minutes of the 2017 Super Coppa.

Gonzalo Escalante – returning from a loan spell at Alaves, he went on loan again this time to Cremonese in Serie A. He has played 31 times for Lazio (25 in Serie A, 2 in Coppa Italia and 4 in Champions League).

Jony – Coming back from a loan to Sporting Gijon, his loan was renewed for another season. He has played 32 times for the Biancocelesti (24 in Serie A, 2 in Coppa Italia and 6 in Europa League). I will never forget his marvellous cross for Felipe Caicedo in Lazio’s incredible victory at Cagliari.

Bobby Adekanye – Returning from a loan to Crotone, he was sold to Go Ahead Eagles. He leaves Lazio after playing 15 times (11 in Serie A, 1 in Coppa Italia and 3 in Europa League) and scoring one goal in Serie A.

Vedat Muriqi – The Kosovo international had played the last six months in Maiorca where he made quite an impact. As a consequence Maiorca signed him and it’s a farewell to Lazio. He played 49 games for Lazio (38 in Serie A, 3 in Coppa Italia, 5 in Champions League and 3 in Europa League) and scored two goals (one in Serie A and one in Coppa Italia).

Raul Moro – The young Spaniard was purchased by Igli Tare in 2019 for €8 million, quite a sum for such a young player. So far he has shown good ability and is fast but needs to improve physically. Lazio sent him on loan for a season to Ternana in Serie B. He has played 20 games for Lazio (13 in Serie A, 2 in Coppa Italia and 5 in Europa League).

Francesco Acerbi – Purchased from Sassuolo in 2018, he was considered a fundamental piece of Lazio’s defence and one of the best defence players in Italy. It all went downhill after the lockdown of 2020 and he lost a bit of confidence. The last year under Simone Inzaghi he was not that rock of a defender that he had been so far and his year with Sarri was rather terrible. It looked like he was not following the manager’s indications and it did not help that Lazio was conceding way too many goals. He had a few problems with the fans. Inappropriate statements and attitudes earned him a lot of boos in the Olympic Stadium. On the last day of the mercato Lazio and Inter reached an agreement and Acerbi will play in Milan on loan with buyout option for Inter. He has played 173 games for Lazio (135 in Serie A, 9 in Coppa Italia, 8 in Champions League, 20 in Europa League and one in Super Coppa) and scored 10 times (9 in Serie A and one in Coppa Italia). He has won two trophies: Coppa Italia and Super Coppa.

Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akbro – A surprise, and surprisingly expensive, purchase from Salernitana in 2020, he played well during the preseason training and in his first games for Lazio. He even scored against Borussia Dortmund. But during the course of his first season with Lazio and in particular in his second, he showed all of his limits. He will play for Empoli on loan. He has played 55 games for Lazio (42 in Serie A, 2 in Coppa Italia, 8 in Champions League and 3 in Europa League) and scored one goal in Champions League.

Riza Durmisi – Igli Tare purchased him in 2018 from Real Betis, but following his disastrous first season with Lazio, he was been sent on loan every year since. This season he will play for Leganes, again on loan. He has played 19 games for Lazio (10 in Serie A, 2 in Coppa Italia and 7 in Europa League).

Djavan Anderson – He was a promising right back and he signed for Lazio as a free agent in 2018. Lazio immediately loaned him to Salernitana. After a year he came to Lazio and was occasionally used as sub by Inzaghi. In the last couple of years he played for Cosenza and Pec Zwolle. Oxford United signed him in this transfer window. He leaves Lazio after having played 10 times (9 in Serie A and 1 in Coppa Italia).

Welcome to Lazio

Eight new players arrived in the summer, many of whom Italian, which was not very typical Lazio.

Alessio Romagnoli – Defender, 27 years old, Alessio had made no secret that he was a Lazio supporter despite having played for Roma in the youth teams. He comes to Lazio as a free agent after having played for Roma, Sampdoria and seven years for AC Milan where he was also captain. He patiently waited for his contract to expire, refusing to renew it and refusing other offers. He wanted to play for Lazio full stop. Romagnoli played 14 games for Roma (13 in Serie A) with one goal between 2012 and 2014 before he was loaned to Sampdoria in 2014-15 (31 appearances and one goal). In 2015 he was sold to AC Milan and there he played 247 games with 10 goals.

Nicolò Casale – Defender, 24 years of age, he almost came to Lazio in the winter of 2022 but the purchase was postponed to the summer. he debuted in professional football in 2017 in Serie B with Perugia before playing for Prato and Sud Tirol in Serie C. In 2019-20 he signed with Venezia in Serie B and the year after he was at Empoli. His debut in Serie A came in 2021-22 with Verona where he played 37 games before joining Lazio.

Ivan Provedel – Goalkeeper, 28, excellent player, has played in Spezia in Serie A in the last couple of seasons. Took a long time to get him and the La Spezia club was tempted to sell him to Napoli but he desperately wanted to come to Lazio. Before Spezia he played for Pisa, Perugia, Modena, Pro Vercelli, Empoli and Juve Stabia.

Matteo Cancellieri – Forward/winger, 20 years old, is a promising young attacker. Spent most of his youth footballing career in the other Rome club before being sold to Verona. Just 14 appearances were enough for his Italian national team debut and Lazio to get him on a loan with obligation to buy following certain clauses.

Marcos Antonio – Midfielder, 22 years of age, the Brazilian has been playing for Shakhtar Donesk since 2019, but the war with Russia has not made life easy for him in 2022. He comes to Lazio with the idea that he will take the place of Lucas Leiva. He heavily impressed in the pre season training. Before Donesk he played for Estoril Praia in Portugal after having played in the youth teams of Atletico Paranense in Brazil.

Luis Maximiano – Goalkeeper, 23, the Portuguese player was one of the best goalkeepers in the Liga in 2021-22 even if his club Grenada were relegated. Carlo Ancellotti spoke very highly of him and Gila in an August interview with the Corriere dello Sport. Before Grenada, Maximiano played for Sporting Lisbon.

Mario Gila – Defender, 22 years old, is a promising Spanish player and comes from the Real Madrid youth team. He played in the Spanish Real Madrid B team in 2021-22 in the Spanish third division and debuted for the A team in 2022 where he played a couple of games. He too impressed in pre season training.

Matias Vecino – Midfielder, 30, is the man with experience that Sarri wanted. The Uruguay International comes as free agent after five years at Inter. Previously he palyed in Central Espanol and Nacional in Uruguay. His Italia career started at Fiorentina in January 2013. He was later loaned to Cagliari and Empoli, before going back to Florence in 2015. In 2017 he joined Inter and played 127 times with 13 goals.

January 2023

A few minor movements took place in the Winter session. A couple of players on loan changed their destinations, there was one major signing and a couple of interesting young player for the Primavera team.

Loan changes

Gonzalo Escalante left Cremonese after having played 10 games (9 in Serie A and one in Coppa Italia) and joined Cadiz, always on loan.

Raul Moro said goodbye to Ternana and moved to Real Oviedo. At Terni he played 12 games in Serie B and scored his first professional goal.

Riza Durmisi moved from Leganes (10 games) to Tenerife.

Dimitrije Kamenovic was loaned to Sprata Prague. He played just one game for Lazio in the 2021-22 season.

Winter Signings

Luca Pellegrini - Former Roma youth player (but Lazio fan), the Italian left back was signed on loan from Juventus. He had played the first half of the 2022-23 with Eintracht Frankfurt. After having debuted with Roma in 2018 he was sold to Juventus in January 2019 and then loaned first to Cagliari and then Genoa. In 2021-22 he played 21 games for Juventus (18 in Serie A) before he was loaned again. Lazio has an option to buy at the end of the 2022-23 season.

Other minor winter signings

Three players were purchased for the primavera. Defender Simone Cesari from Trastevere, exciting promising Paraguyan left winger Diego Gonzalez from Celaya (Mexico), and Keita Balde's brother Mahamadou Balde from Nocerina. Like his brother, Mahamadou is a forward.



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