Can Italian clubs handle the pressure in Europe?

Italian football has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years and we may see a return of the dominance that clubs from the country had in the 1990s and 2000s. In the past season, three Italian clubs made it to three European club finals, adding to their national team’s feat of winning Euro 2020. While the national team won the continental crown with a dominant run past their peers, for the Serie A clubs it was a case of too near yet too far. All three of Inter Milan, Roma and Fiorentina lost in the finals of the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League respectively to Manchester City, Sevilla and West Ham United. Nonetheless, these teams had commendable performances in light of the investments made in football leagues that have since risen above the Italian Serie A. Billionaire ownership of clubs in England has for example shifted the balance of power in favour of English teams.


Big question

The big question now is whether Italian clubs, and by extension, Italian football will be able to sustain the pressure set by the high performances last season. Getting three teams to European club championships is not an easy feat and now they need to try and go a step further for it to be considered a success. This will be made tougher by the fact that top performers in that European season have become targets for richer clubs in other leagues. Inter Milan keeper Andre Onana is billed one of the best in Europe at the moment and his qualities have attracted Manchester United. Not being one to serve as second choice, Onana is now a prime target for United who recently parted ways with David de Gea. Victor Osimhen, another top performer in Italy, at Napoli, is a top target all across Europe. Napoli has slapped a huge transfer fee on last season’s top scorer but this doesn’t seem to deter clubs with huge investments. The Nigerian could be on his way out. Juventus’ problems with the Serie A hierarchy saw them miss out on a Champions league slot and this could lead to massive walkouts. Their top scorer last season, Dusan Vlahovic hasn’t made attempts to hide his preference for a move to the Premier League, and Chelsea are interested. Meanwhile Paul Pogba is reportedly on his way to the moneyed Saudi league. Marcelo Brozovic has sealed a move to the Saudi Arabia league after a good season with Inter and with such exits, one wouldn’t be mistaken to ask who’s next.


Bigger worry

Most of the big moves, confirmed and prospective, don’t point to key players joining Italian teams. How this will impact betting on the Serie A remains to be seen but top bookies like AdmiralBet will still come handy with offers such as the one of up to €300 as reviewed on SportyTrader. For a minimum stake of €20, one can activate the AdmiralBet bonus for new customers. It should be a bigger worry that top transfers could see key players leaving the Italian top league to settle elsewhere. It means Italian clubs may not keep up with the high standards set last season. It is clear there is a shortage of financial muscle in the Italian league. With that comes inability to compete against the best. Top clubs like Juventus, struggling to handle their finances, exacerbates the situation. The reliance on progressive ideals that include investment in the youth and returning iconic club figures in management of teams can only go that far. When money is dangled, there is little doubt the best talent will stay. Thus the future of Italian club football remains bleak, at least as far as dominating in Europe is concerned.

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