Serie A Week 1 Power Rankings
By: Claudio Perfetto
The transfer market is officially closed in Italy which means most of the teams are close to completion. There could still be some exits to league like La Liga, Ligue 1 or the Bundesliga as their windows are still open, however, I would be shocked to see any major exits due to the fact that Serie A teams would not be able to replace major players at this point. As we enter Week 1, taking into account last season's performances as well as the transfer window, let's discuss this week's power rankings:
1. Juventus - Who else could claim the top spot? Juventus are winners of seven straight scudetti and the only major player they lost is Gianluigi Buffon. The departures of Buffon and Claudio Marchisio hurt emotionally, but they will be fine without them on the pitch. They have added Emre Can, Joao Cancelo while Leonardo Bonucci returns. Oh, yeah, and you might have heard that they signed Cristiano Ronaldo - he's pretty good.
2. Napoli - Remember, these are not where I think teams will end up, but where they are based in the power rankings. This is a team that reached 91 points last season and brought in a successful, experienced top level coach in Carlo Ancelotti. Their two major losses were Jorginho and Pepe Reina. They brought in Fabian Ruiz to take Jorginho's spot and Ancelotti has confidence in Diawara and Hamsik to also fill the role. They also signed Simone Verdi for attacking depth. Until we see otherwise, it's hard to bet against Napoli.
3. Inter - Here is a team that finished fourth place in the standings, didn't lose any key players and signed Asamoah, Nainggolan, De Vrij, Politano, Keita, Vrsaljko and Lautaro Martinez. Spalletti now has the depth and tactical flexibility to play to his liking. There are always risks when you bring in this many new faces, especially many of whom could be part of the starting eleven, but on paper this is a very talented team.
4. Roma - The red and yellow half of Rome did lose key players in Radja Nainggolan and Alisson Becker, but they had plenty of incoming activity as well. They finished third last season and brought in great midfielders in Steven Nzonzi, Bryan Cristante and Javier Pastore. Their midfield has depth and youth now and their attack should be even better this season as they have more experience in Patrick Schick and Cengiz Under while adding promising youth like Patrick Kluivert.
5. Lazio - Lazio remains fifth on this list due to the fact that they were able to hold onto Ciro Immobile, Luis Alberto and of course, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. They lost De Vrij to Inter but replaced him with Francesco Acerbi who is a solid, experienced Serie A defender. They also lost Felipe Anderson to West Ham United which hurts, but they should be able to survive without him. The additions of Correa and Badelj are smart and add depth to the squad.
6. Milan - At the end of last season, Milan were coming off a sixth place finish, they were banned from the Europa League and faced a ton of financial uncertainty. Now, they have strong owners in Elliott, have regained their Europa League status, hired Leonardo and Paolo Maldini while also trading in Leonardo Bonucci for Gonzalo Higuain. They also got rid of dead weight on the squad like Gustavo Gomez, Nikola Kalinic and other, while bringing in more talented players in positions of need. They are still lacking a creative midfielder, in my opinion, but the future is brighter for the Rossoneri.
7. Sampdoria - Sampdoria lost two key players in Lucas Torreira and Duvan Zapata, but they replaced them brilliantly by bringing in Jankto from Udinese and Defrel from Roma. They also brought in Riccardo Saponara from Fiorentina who is a good play-maker and had a very good second half of the season with the Viola. Having a great coach like Giampaolo for another year also is a major benefit.
8. Atalanta - Atalanta lost major players again this transfer window after losing Franck Kessie and Andrea Conti last season. This time around they have lost Mattia Caldara, Leonardo Spinazzola and Bryan Cristante. They brought in some talented players like Rigoni from Zenit, Duvan Zapata from Sampdoria and Mario Pasalic from Chelsea. Pasalic in particular had a good season on loan to Milan in 2016/17 and will look to impress in Serie A again.
9. Torino - After a disappointing season where they fired Sinisa Mihaljovic and brought in Walter Mazzari, the Granata will hope to exceed expectations this year. They didn't have any major losses while bringing in Simone Zaza on deadline day. Their attack consists of Zaza, Andrea Belotti, Niang and Falque, which on paper is very strong. Couple that with Walter Mazzari's organization and Torino should be a top 10 team going into the season.
10. Fiorentina - They didn't make any major moves, but haven't lost any key players either except for Saponara who apparently fell out of favor with manager Pioli. They brought in Pjaca from Juventus on loan, and if he is healthy he will form a formidable front three with Chiesa and Simeone. They will be an exciting team to watch who can hopefully keep up their form from the second half of last season.
Honorable mention but not in the top 10: Udinese, Parma.