Published On: Wed, Apr 17th, 2013

Sampdoria Club Focus: A Youthful Approach in Goal for Next Season

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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”.

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  1. Francesco Flachi says:

    Not good. This article fails to offer any criticism for a this blunderous plan.
    Romero is easily a top 5 Serie A goalie. He is an anchor back there, (just ask Cavani).

    He would go back to Argentina why? He would leave Serie A just as he’s poised to dominate it why? Argentinian club ball is better than a UEFA club team why?

    Samp would fix something that’s not broken why?

    Trade the treasure that is Mauro Icardi for a goalie why?

    Which brings me to my main point.

    The plan to get a player in return for Maurito, (presuming he must be sold), is a good one, but you need a position player! You need to improve an area of need!

    For example Samp will need a top flight striker if Mauro goes, and Zaza is scooped away as well. Where’s the striker coming back the other way?

    Perhaps a talented wing player that could take DeSilvestri’s place? Perhaps another top flight defender to help Gastaldello in the back three or four.

    But to lose Icardi and Romero and all you get in return is some young kid who gives up more than a goal a game in Serie B? To lose such a high ceiling attacking player for some guy that doesn’t even play the field? C’mon.

    That is lunacy.

    I’d like to read the article that criticizes this plan, as it’s rubbish.

  2. Vito Doria Vito Doria says:

    I see the points you are making. At the moment, he hasn’t signed for anyone yet. He could change his mind because I do agree that to go back to Argentina would make very little sense.

    It’s still early days into Edoardo Garrone’s presidency but based on the transfer speculation, he is turning Samp into a selling club. As much as I like bringing in youth, we do need stars or players with good international experience.

  3. Francesco Flachi says:

    Nice to make your acquaintance Vito. I think we are the two preeminent English Speaking Sampdoria Tifosi.

    You raise an interesting question, does Eduardo want to compete with the likes of Inter, Milan, and Juve? Or does he view Samp as a feeder team to these clubs? Developing young talent, selling it for profit, and eeking out a financially comfortable Serie A existence in the lower-mid table.

    I hope he realizes this Samp team has more pieces in place, and more potential, than any Samp team in the last quarter century.

    Now is the time to invest in the Club. Keep Romero, keep Poli, keep Maurito, keep Gastaldello, keep Costa, keep Sansone. (he has already gotten commitments from Obiang and Krsticic — so well done there).

    I don’t feel too strongly about it, but Estigarribia can be kept as well, he is no slouch.

    You need a right wing, a defender, and perhaps another striker — although Maxi Lopez will do if he wants to return.

    This team is young, dangerous, and nearly complete.

    If the core of this group is kept, and built upon, I think Samp would undoubtedly threaten for a European spot next season. Further, I believe they could even achieve Champions League qualification.

    Even further than that, this team is so young and talented, if they are allowed to grow together in a consistent environment, I could even see them winning the Scudetto.

    Samp have a great collection of young complimentary players. The likes of which we have not seen before. This is the time to invest, not the time to blow the whole thing apart and re-tool. Leave that to the aging and vulnerable teams like Juve, Inter and Milan. Don’t inject them with your youth and condemn Samp to being perennial also-rans.

    That is my plea.

  4. Vito Doria Vito Doria says:

    Thanks Francesco.

    At the moment it’s hard to tell what Garrone’s goal is but with the rumours going around, he gives the impression that he isn’t building the team properly. If he wants Sampdoria to be a selling club, he is going about it in the wrong manner. As much as I loathe Udinese, at least they sell their stars for a good profit.

    I totally agree about the roster. There are some good young players and if Edoardo Garrone thought about keeping these players, this could be a side capable of CL qualification. I reckon the core of this team needs to be together for about four or five years before it can win the club’s second scudetto.

    The current roster reminds me of the team in the mid-80s, when some of the stars who eventually played in the 1990-91 scudetto team had arrived. At least Paolo Mantovani slowly added the right pieces for a scudetto-winning side. After the 2010-11 disaster, this team has to be competitive again.

  5. Vito Doria Vito Doria says:

    I wouldn’t want us to be like the current Udinese side or Fiorentina in the 80s.

    Udinese is a selling club like no other. The club is financially sound but they constantly underachieve in European competitions. With all the sales, there isn’t much Francesco Guidolin can do.

    Fiorentina had so many future stars in the 80s, none more so than Roberto Baggio. Ranieri Pontello was too content to sell his young stars and replace them with veterans like Claudio Gentile and Gabriele Oriali.

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