Before the window opened, Juventus director Fabio Paratici – taking into account the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic – made the prediction: “I think we’ll see longer loans because rather than purchase homes, people are more likely in a time of uncertainty to rent.”
Paratici’s Juve – and seemingly the remainder of Serie A – have largely adhered to this prophecy. Yet, while a lot of the deals may not be permanent, there have been plenty of moves up and down the division which could very well leave an indelible mark on the current campaign.
Benevento’s first ever Serie A season in 2017/18 will forever be remembered for their record-breaking 14 consecutive losses to start the campaign. When Filippo Inzaghi’s side fell 2-0 down inside 20 minutes of their opening game this campaign, some may have feared history repeating itself.
Yet, the wonderfully nicknamed Sorcerers were able conjure up a comeback, thanks in no small part to the magic feet of their new number 17.
After struggling for a run of consistent appearances in recent years, Caprari has started Benevento’s first three league outings, scoring twice and assisting another.
Ever since Barcelona supposedly took a particular disliking to a teenage Keita Baldé putting an ice cube in his teammate’s bed, the Senegal international has enjoyed the best moments of a career – which once promised so much – in Italy.
In 64 Serie A starts, across spells with Lazio and Inter, the 25-year-old has scored an impressive 31 goals and provided a further 11 assists.
If Keita can avoid the niggling injuries which hampered his time at Inter in 2018/19, the fleet-footed forward should provide an added goal threat to a side incredibly reliant upon a (brilliant, but) 37-year-old Fabio Quagliarella.
One of several players who caught the eye during Verona’s impressive ninth-place finish, Sofyan Amrabat is tidy in possession and a menace weaving his way through the press.
With Fiorentina’s top goalscorer and most prolific assister last season now on loan at Juventus, La Viola have attempted to replicate some of that attacking output with the signing of Giacomo Bonaventura.
Arriving on a free, the 31-year-old provides a steady stream of penetrating runs into the box and is also adept at creating chances for his teammates.
Six weeks after scoring Inter’s equalising goal in the Europa League final – the third of his career – Godín found the net in his next competitive outing. Albeit for Cagliari in the rather less glamorous setting of a 5-2 mauling at the hands of Atalanta.
Nevertheless, many teams will suffer a similar fate when they meet the prolific Bergamo side this term and Godín – despite his age – represents a savvy, short-term addition to a less than parsimonious side.
Not much was known about how Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus would play before he took charge, but what little could be gleaned from his press conferences chimed perfectly with Weston McKennie’s skillset.
And so, the energetic American has played a prominent role in the early stages of Juve’s season, with Pirlo’s faith in McKennie evident given he’s even starting ahead of the incredibly talented Rodrigo Bentancur.
One of many astute signings made by a reinvigorated Milan this summer, Sandro Tonali – the darling of Italian football – joined the club he supported as a boy on loan with a fee of €10m.
After showing flashes of his talent in a Brescia side desperately deprived of possession, Tonali will be able to exert a greater influence on proceedings in a Milan side on the rise.
After a hugely impressive season with Verona, Marash Kumbulla had no shortage of suitors this summer, but Roma were the fortunate side to win the race for his signature.
While his ability on the ball could be improved, the 20-year-old centre-back defends very much on the front foot, snapping into tackles and harassing opposing forwards.
Not only will the transition to Roma be made easier by his proficiency in a three-man defence – Verona’s formation of choice last season and the Giallorossi’s post-lockdown. But Kumbulla will be playing alongside Chris Smalling, a player he singled out in an interview with The Guardian for praise before the Englishman completed his permanent return to Rome.
Only three Napoli players mustered more than four Serie A goals last season as striker Arkadiusz Milik finished the campaign as top scorer with 11.
While the rest of the league have taken a cautious, try-before-you-buy approach, Napoli have gone all in on Osimhen, but for good reason.
The 21-year-old forward – five years Milik’s junior – shares many of the same qualities his Polish counterpart possesses, while also offering more creativity and a greater willingness to press.
After just two games for Inter, Antonio Conte voiced the opinion instantly formed by anyone fortunate enough to have seen Achraf Hakimi in full flight for Borussia Dortmund last season: he was born to play as a wingback.
Two identical assists to Romelu Lukaku in his first two outings have perhaps laid the template for a new, and highly effective, attacking avenue for Inter this season as the 21-year-old shows signs of rapidly adapting to life in Serie A.