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  • Writer's pictureLazio Stories

Transfers 2023-24

Updated: Feb 15

Millions of rumours, thousands (literally) of players mentioned as possible signings, harsh battles between the various insiders and transfer gurus, hate messages for President Claudio Lotito, which have substituted the insults of previous years towards former Sports Director Igli Tare, guilty of not being fast enough with the signings. This is what happened during the course of the summer transfer window.

Among the chaos of names thrown in just to gain a click, there are several new players and a few painful departures.


Valentin Castellanos, nicknamed Taty, Argentinian forward, was the first signing of the transfer campaign. He grew up in the youth teams of the Universidad de Chile, then after his debut was sent on loan to Torque in Uruguay in the second tier in 2017. He contributed to the club’s promotion to the Primera Division and played 19 league games with three goals. He was signed by the Uruguayan team in July 2018 and then sent on loan to New York City in the MLS. He stayed in the US until July 2022 playing a total of 131 games and scoring 53 goals. In July 2022 he joined Girona in Spain on loan appearing 37 times and scoring 14 goals, including 4 against Real Madrid in one match. On July 21 he signed for Lazio. He will be used as a back up striker, something Lazio have been missing for a long time.

Daichi Kamada, a Japanese midfielder, arrived on free transfer. He started his career in the youth team of Sagan Tosu and debuted in the J. League Cup in April 2015 and in the J1 League on May 10. In 2017 he signed for Eintracht Frankfurt. He did not play much in his first year so in his second he was sent on loan to Sint-Truiden in Belgium in the Jupiler Pro League. He did very well so he was back in Frankfurt for the 2019-20 season. He then appeared in 178 games with 40 goals. On August 4 he signed for Lazio. He will theoretically substitute Sergej Mlinkovic-Savic.

Gustav Isaksen, Danish winger, arrived from Midtjylland. A product of the Danish youth sector, he drove the Lazio defence crazy in the two games he played against the Biancocelesti in last year’s Europa League. In the game in Denmark Lazio lost 5-1 and he was unstoppable. He was involved in four of the goals and scored the fourth. In the match at the Olimpico he scored Midtjylland’s first goal. He comes as backup winger.

Nicolò Rovella, midfielder, arrived from Juventus. He is one of Italy’s golden boys, very highly considered. After playing in the youth teams of Accademia Inter, Alcione and Genoa, he debuted for the Ligurians in Coppa Italia on December 3, 2019 and in Serie A on December 21. After three years at Genoa he signed for Juventus in 2022. He made 3 appearances in Serie A before he was loaned to Monza. He was one of the team's most interesting players and appeared in 27 games with one goal. He went back to Juventus but the Bianconeri sold him to Lazio in order to make some cash. There is great expectation. He arrives on a two year loan with an obligation to buy.

Luca Pellegrini was loaned to Lazio in the January transfer window of 2023. Former Roma youth player (but Lazio fan), the Italian left back 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. Last season he made 8 appearances for Lazio (seven in Serie A and one in Conference League). He went back to Juve but was finally bought by the Biancocelesti in mid August. He arrives on a two-year loan with a buyout obligation.

Luigi Sepe arrives from Salernitana to substitute Luis Maximiano as second goalkeeper. A product of the Napoli youth sector, he made just two appearances for the Partenopei: a first one in 2009 and a second in 2017. In between he was on loan to Pisa, Lanciano, Empoli and Fiorentina. In 2018 he signed for Parma and stayed there for three and a half years appearing in 110 games. In January 2022 he moved to Salernitana where he played 34 games. He is on loan.

Christos Mandas, 21 year old Greek goalkeeper, arrives from OFI Crete. He began his career with Atromitos where he stayed until 2022 before signing for OFI. He is very highly considered, and it is hoped that a year as third goalkeeper will be useful for his formation.

Matteo Guendouzi, French midfielder, was signed from Olympique Marseille. He started in the Paris Saint Germain academy before joining Lorient where he made his debut in Ligue 1 in 2016. In 2018 he signed for Arsenal and stayed in London for two years. In 2020 he was loaned to Hertha Berlin and a year later moved to OM. He arrives on loan with an option to buy which could be turned into a mandatory purchase depending if certain conditions are met.

Goodbye or almost

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has finally gone. There had been rumours of him leaving for years. Juventus, Inter, Milan, Premier League, PSG but in the end he signed for Al-Hilal, Saudi Arabian club based in Riyadh. Apparently President Claudio Lotito offered him a lot of money to stay, but the Saudi club is paying him a salary that will allow his family to live comfortably for generations. Difficult to say no. He leaves after 341 appearances and 69 goals.

Francesco Acerbi. After having played on loan with Inter for the 2022-23 season, the Neroazzurri took advantage of the buyout option. He played 173 games for Lazio and scored 10 times.

Gonzalo Escalante started last season on loan to Cremonese but in January left for Cadiz. The Spanish club had a buyout option in case they stayed in La Liga. They survived and he signed for them on a permanent basis. He appeared 31 times for Lazio.

Luca Romero’s contract expired in June 2023. According to rumours, his agent asked for a €5 million bonus for the signature of the new agreement. President Claudio Lotito refused. Romero signed for AC Milan. Luka Romero, Argentinian, at the age of ten signed an eight-year youth contract with Mallorca. He was the youngest player ever to play a Liga game (15!!!!) and the youngest to score in the Spanish top League. In 2021 he signed for Lazio and debuted in Serie A on August 28 against Spezia, becoming the youngest Lazio player ever to play in Serie A at 16 years , 9 months and ten days. Against Monza on November 22, 2022, he scored his first and only goal for the Biancocelesti. He is the second youngest Lazio player to score a goal in Serie A after Alessandro Capponi, who in 1936 scored the winning goal against Lucchese. He is the youngest Argentine to score a goal in Serie A (previously it was Paolo Dybala). He is the first player born in 2004 to score in Serie A. The new Messi, as he was named, left Lazio after 21 appearances.

Matteo Cancellieri. Forward/winger, 20 years old, is a promising young attacker. He spent most of his youth footballing career in the other Rome club before being sold to Verona where only 14 appearances were enough for him to make his Italian national team debut and Lazio to get him on a loan with obligation to buy following certain clauses. The Biancoclesti did eventually buy him but with the arrival of Isaksen he was then loaned to Empoli for 2023-24. He made 30 appearances last year (20 in Serie A, 6 in Europa League and 4 in Conference League) mostly coming in from the bench.

Luis Maximiano had a difficult year last season. Goalkeeper, 23, the Portuguese player was one of the best goalkeepers in the Liga in 2021-22 even if his club Granada were relegated. Carlo Ancelotti spoke very highly of both him and Gila in an August 2022 interview with the Corriere dello Sport. Before Granada, Maximiano played for Sporting Lisbon. Last year he debuted in Lazio’s first home game but was sent off after just 6 minutes for saving a ball with his hands outside the penalty box. This mistake heavily conditioned his entire season as he was replaced in goal by Ivan Provedel and used only for the Coppa Italia and the Conference League. In August 2023 he was loaned to Almeria for a year with a buyout obligation. He made just six appearances in 2022-23.

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 played at Empoli last year on loan and this year he left for Monza. He has appeared in 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.

Young midfielder Marco Bertini is sent to Spal to gain some experience. He has apperaed in two games for Lazio but was one of the pillars of the Primavera team. Spal have the right to purchase him at the end of the 2023-24 season and Lazio the right to counter-buyback.

Aftre three years on loan to various Spanish clubs, Jony and Lazio have ended his contract by mutual consent. He then signed for Cartagena in the Spanish second division. Jony has made 32 appearances for the Biancocelesti.

Marius Adamonis, Lithuanian third goalkeeper, was sent on loan to Perugia where it is hoped he will get playing time.

Roger Ibañez will always be considered as one of us. Despite being a Roma player, his three decisive mistakes in derbies are now so iconical that there are fans with Biancoceleste jerseys with his name. Alas, Roma sold him to Al-Ahil. We will truly miss him.

Winter transfer window

Two players were sent out on loan.

Toma Basic, midfielder, arrived from Bordeaux in 2021. He played quite a lot in his first year but progressively less and less. This season he just 14 minutes in Coppa Italia so he was sent on loan to Salernitana for the rest of the year. He has made so far 70 appearances with 2 goals.

Dimitrije Kamenović, defender, arrived in January 2021 from Čukarički but left for six months in his original team. For bureaucratic problems he was finally signed in January 2022 but has so far mande just one appearance for the Biancocelesti. He was loaned to Yverdon Sport Football Club in Swtizerland for six months.


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