As Roma Coach Luciano Spalletti in a recent press conference recently claimed the transfer of Gonzalo Higuain, if it happens, will be good for Serie A. His logic was that the money from Higuain’s sale would help in making Napoli stronger while the Argentine’s move to Juventus would make them a force to reckon with in the Champions League. Having sold Miralem Pjanic, a consistent source of spark in the midfield even under the ill-fated spell of Rudi Garcia, the Bosnian was an influential figure in the midfield. His transfer then, was bound to be a big blow for the Giallorossi. His claim is one which, if came to be true, can have significant implications on the race for title in the Serie A. In the last season, Napoli came close to lifting the Italian Championship since the golden days of Maradona.Roma themselves had run Juve clos for the title the year before which faltered due to a sensational slump in the latter half of the campaign. This season, with the signings of Pjanic and Alves, they have already strengthened to a worrying extent for their rivals. The Giallorossi find themselves find them in a position for fighting for the top three places let alone competing for the title. Inter have changed ownership but a change in fortunes in the transfer market hasn’t been visible yet. AC Milan are going their neighbor’s way but find themselves struggling to replicate the dominance of the days gone by. If Napoli are shorn of Higuain, the Serie A title would have been all but sealed even before the first ball has been kicked.
Similar to Bundesliga, the Bianconeri would be the only side expected to win the title and can very well be on their way to enjoying the monopoly that Bayern Munich enjoy in Bundesliga. Although they haven’t employed the notorious strategy as Bavarian giants, i.e. of buying the best players from their rivals and significantly weakening them thereby making it impossible for any team to snatch the title away from them the next time, if a sixth straight Scudetti were to arrive in Turin in 2017, it could very well signal the start of the similar strategy. And that would definitely not be good for Serie A. Especially considering the financial prowess of the Italian teams in general. If they Old Lady of Turin manages to secure their Italian crown year after year, there would be no choice for the players from other teams but to move to Turin or out of Serie A if they wish to be labelled as Champions. Barring a brief spell under the enigmatic Jurgen Klopp, no other team in the Bundesliga ever looked to threaten Bayern Munich’s domestic dominance. BVB, too fell prey to the meticulous planning and irresistible lure of the Bavarian giants. Hence, after Dortmund, no other team came close to giving Bayern a run for their money in the Bundesliga. Being utterly dominant in the domestic scene, Bayern’s coffers are twice as large as some of their rivals. While a transfer in other clubs in Germany signals a crisis on the brink of happening, it signals quite the opposite in Bavaria. An upgrade, getting rid of a misfit, passing of old legs, etc. Bayern can buy whatever they wish but sell nothing without their desire. Even Real Madrid failed to test their resolve when trying to prise Franck Ribery to Santiago Bernabeu.
If the same scenario unfolds in Serie A, it would be a source of sadness. The league which has the second highest number of Champions League crown winners (AC Milan). One of the rare sides to achieve a treble-winning season among others, Serie A needs to be talked in the same breath as EPL or the La Liga. The tactics of Italian managers is world renowned and it needs to be validated by trophies. More than once in a while trophies.
In 2011, Real Madrid used to hold out posters asking for better rivals in derbies. In the last few years, they regretted their actions. A case unrelated to Serie A but one which Luciano Spalletti would be well-served to remember.