Sampdoria Club Focus: A Youthful Approach in Goal for Next Season
One door closes and another one opens. An experienced pair of gloves might be replaced with the freshness of youth. Sampdoria’s Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero is expected to leave the Genoese club at the end of the season.
According to Tutto Mercato Web, Romero might be heading back to his homeland. He has played in Italy for two seasons, having started in Serie B last season and played a role in Doria’s return to Serie A.
Despite conceding a freak goal during the 1-1 draw against Genoa on the weekend, he has been a consistent performer in the Samp goal, especially in big matches.
Replacing him with a young Italian goalkeeper seems to be likely scenario for the blucerchiati. Not only would Samp be saving money but a young goalkeeper would add to the roster’s youthful look.
A potential replacement for Romero would be Azzurini goalkeeper Francesco Bardi. He is a regular starter in Devis Mangia’s squad and he is owned by Inter. Currently on loan at Serie B club Novara, the 20-year-old is in excellent form, conceding only 32 goals in 20 matches.
At the moment the Piemontese club is now in the position to reach the play-offs. Argentinian striker Pablo Gonzalez has been a protagonist for Novara offensively yet undoubtedly Bardi has played a vital role defensively.
If Bardi replaces Sergio Romero, his transfer is likely going to involve Sampdoria striker Mauro Icardi. Instead of paying €15 million (£12m) for the young forward, Inter are hoping to throw Bardi into the deal in order to lower the transfer fee for Icardi.
Samp should still make a good profit on Icardi but if Bardi is sent in the opposite direction, the blucerchiati could help another youngster shine in the Serie A.
Sampdoria’s other option to replace Romero is 21-year-old Alberto Brignoli. Currently on Ternana’s roster, he too is plying his trade in Serie B this season. The Umbrian club earned promotion from the Lega Pro Prima Divisione last season and Ternana has the second-best defence in Serie B now, conceding only 33 goals.
Brignoli played Serie D in 2009-10 with Montichiari and he has been moving up a level every season. His second campaign with Montichiari was in Lega Pro Seconda Divisione in 2010-11 and last season he was in goal for Lega Pro Prima Divisione club A.C. Lumezzane.
He has been a key in Ternana’s fight for Serie B survival and his goalkeeping ability has probably atoned for his club’s lack of firepower in attack. Despite their impressive defensive record, Ternana have the worst attack in Serie B, scoring just 32 goals.
Both targets for Sampdoria have age on their side. Even though they would be expected to replace a goalkeeper who is a regular for one of the best national teams in the world, Bardi and Brignoli are keepers on the rise.
This season a fair share of youngsters such as Icardi, Pedro Obiang, Shkodran Mustafi and Nenad Krsticic have emerged from Sampdoria’s roster. Next season one of those youngsters could be a goalkeeper.
For Bardi, it could be a platform to break into the senior squad for Italy. In Brignoli’s case, it would represent another step in his meteoric rise. Regardless of the choice Sampdoria makes for next season, one of the keepers could contribute to the club’s “fountain of youth”.