The Rating Of Lazio In 2023 (Part 2: Goalkeepers, And Defenders)

For the year 2023, the La Lazio Siamo Noi crew presents the second section of their report card, focusing on the assessment of Lazio's selected players. This evaluation specifically covers goalkeepers and defenders.

Luis Maximiano: For him, Bologna symbolizes a fresh start, or at least that's what he believes. Following his major blunder in the league, Sarri decided to give him another opportunity in the Italian Cup. While his first outing was decent, his performance against Juventus left much to be desired. Nonetheless, the coach grants him another chance and includes him in the lineup for the matches against Cluj and AZ Alkmaar in the Conference. However, he fails to make any significant impact. His presence goes unnoticed, his displays lack excitement, and as a result, he is sent on loan to Almeria during the summer. In Spain, he secures a permanent spot in the starting lineup, but external factors hinder his progress. RATING 5

Ivan Provedel: In the year 2023, Provedel demonstrated his exceptional goalkeeping skills with a total of 21 clean sheets and numerous impressive interventions. While his recent performances against Cagliari and Empoli left a lasting impression on supporters, it was his remarkable saves reminiscent of Peruzzi's style against Lino and Gimenez in matches against Atletico and Feyenoord that secured qualification for the Champions League round of 16. Provedel's outstanding performances throughout the year have solidified his status as a goalkeeper of international caliber. RATING 8

Nicolò Casale: Throughout the previous season, he stood as a steadfast presence in the defense, forming a formidable partnership with Romagnoli and earning the unwavering trust of Sarri. From January onwards, he never once missed a match (except on the bench), delivering exceptional performances that included a goal and an assist. However, the current season has seen a change in Casale's demeanor, likely due to the adductor injury that sidelined him for 8 games across the Championship, Italian Cup, and Champions League. Before his return, Lazio seeks clarity regarding his condition. RATING 6

Mario Gila: This year has been quite unfavorable. He continuously collects one disappointment after another, making him an unfortunate acquisition. Whenever he does make an appearance, it is accompanied by construction errors and horrifying backpasses. It was only when Romagnoli and Casale got injured that he started to gain some confidence and display a few positive signs. In his last 6 games, he has managed to keep a clean sheet twice and has conceded 6 goals. He still needs some refining as he tends to rely too heavily on his instincts, which may potentially leave the team behind. With his remarkable velocity and innate ability to outpace opponents, he is a guarantee when it comes to reclaiming possession. The burning ambition to showcase his skills is undeniable. RATING 6

Elseid Hysaj: Initially recruited and endorsed for Sarri's tactical approach, it was anticipated that he would assume the role of a full-back. Upon joining Lazio, he secured a lucrative salary, yet, after two years, he has failed to replicate the remarkable standards he exhibited during his time at Napoli. While he occasionally impresses, his performances fluctuate between extraordinary displays and instances where he falls short of both expectations and his own potential. Lazzari's explosive nature hinders his ability to maintain consistency, a fact exacerbated by his limited playing time of just 835 minutes across Serie A, the Champions League, and the Italian Cup. This insufficient amount of game time undermines his capacity to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to him. RATING 5.5

Manuel Lazzari: Emerged as one of the few positive aspects amid Lazio's challenging start in Serie A. This current season is potentially the pinnacle of his career. He aggressively advances, delivering numerous balls into the penalty area – sometimes with precision, sometimes less accurately – and engages in midfield battles. It seems he has successfully completed the extended and demanding process of transitioning from wingback to fullback. While the first half of his 2023 campaign saw him spending a considerable amount of time on the bench (seven out of 23 total matches, plus an additional match due to disqualification), the culmination was nothing short of a protagonist's narrative. Now, having endured various trials and farewells, Lazzari is reaping the benefits of his hard work. RATING 6.5

Adam Marusic: Embodied a dual narrative, akin to a coin with contrasting sides. On one side, he is recognized as a footballer who excelled in his role for a year, displaying commendable character and significance. On the flip side, he is portrayed as a young man who underwent a decline, culminating in critical errors against Atletico Madrid and Inter. Lazio's seasons are marked by these two distinct personalities within Marusic. He played a pivotal role in the miraculous second-place finish and stands as one of the declining players behind the current dramatic performance. Evaluating Marusic requires considering both aspects, and acknowledging the highs and lows that define his contributions to the team. RATING 6

Patric Gabarrón: Provides Lazio with a sense of security that allows the team to ease into challenging situations, particularly during critical defensive moments. The coach values this assurance, ensuring that other defenders like Romagnoli or Casale do not feel undermined. Gabarrón has reached a stage of complete technical and tactical maturity, emerging as one of the leaders in the locker room. His presence on the pitch in the Champions League consistently yields positive results, dispelling any reservations about his role as a reserve player. RATING 7

Luca Pellegrini: Enlisted as a reinforcement in the January transfer window, had minimal playing time in the initial six months. Player opportunities are typically prolonged under Sarri's management, and this trend persists in Pellegrini's case. The coach has consistently recognized the potential of the '99 class, making Pellegrini's resurgence a key focus during the summer. However, the current situation mirrors that of January. With three starts in the Italian Cup against Genoa and league matches against Empoli and Frosinone, Pellegrini may finally be on the verge of a breakthrough. Sarri's persistent efforts have secured him a significant role for now, presenting another factor that might convince the coach to deploy him alongside Manuel Lazzari. RATING 6

Stefan Radu:  Exemplifies loyalty and dedication to Lazio. For 15 years, he has remained committed to the club, never entertaining thoughts of joining other teams. From his early days as a young player to becoming the attendance record holder, Radu has maintained humility, approaching each day at Formello with the same sincerity as his first. Opting for the bench with the aspiration of seizing opportunities through rigorous training, he earned his place on the field through sheer effort and without making any excuses. A genuine veteran, Radu chose the opportune moment to gracefully retire from professional football. RATING 6.5

Alessio Romagnoli: Played a pivotal role in Lazio's achievement of 21 clean sheets for the season. Serving as the linchpin of the Biancoceleste defense, he led the team to a second-place finish by capitalizing on opponents' errors. While sharing notable performances with Casale and Patric, supporting Provedel in goal, Romagnoli's most significant contribution lay in his leadership and encouragement on the field. Although the new season commenced at a slightly lower intensity, Alessio remained a constant presence until a calf injury compelled him to concede, marking the end of his active participation in the challenging final month of the year. It was a regrettable conclusion to a successful season, compounded by his absence in a crucial match against Roma. RATING 7

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