The Rating Of Lazio In 2023 (Part 3: The Midfielders)

The La Lazio Siamo Noi team is now assessing the midfielders as part of the 2023 report card, marking the third segment of their evaluation for the year.

Toma Basic: His time at Lazio is drawing to an end. Since January, his appearances have been scarce, totaling only 90 minutes in the Conference, and there have been no promising signs of a resurgence. His involvement in the new season was limited to a minor role in the Italian Cup match against Genoa, where he even failed to score. It's evident that he no longer features in Sarri's plans, and the club can no longer afford to wait for his improvement. It seems all that remains is for him to secure a one-way ticket to another destination. RATING 4.5

Danilo Cataldi: He arrived in year of 2022 that looked to signal the definitive rise in his quality. Despite playing a pivotal role in Sarri's second-place finish, this season has seen him take a backseat to Vecino and subsequently Rovella, particularly in major matches, excluding the derby. As time progresses, his time on the field diminishes, reducing him to a secondary option during games. RATING 6.5

Matteo Guendouzi: Bore the weight of responsibility on his shoulders, toiling in solitude with determination, his focus unwavering beneath the shadow of his Sideshow Bob hair, as he took command at Lazio. Remarkably, he achieved this feat in just a few months. Demonstrating exceptional performances that included scoring his first goal, he followed it up with heartfelt words of affection for his fellow Lazio players and the iconic image of his drenched shirt at the game's conclusion. Such gestures effortlessly endeared him to the fans. Sarri played a pivotal role in Guendouzi's successful launch, integration, and management, developing a newfound admiration for the player's mental and athletic prowess. Matteo has proven to be the perfect fit for a challenging role, making him the coach's favored choice. RATING 7

Daichi Kamada: The former Eintracht's experience in the Biancoceleste appears to have come to an end. Struggling to settle in and facing challenges in tactical positioning, the Japanese player is finding it tough and is contemplating a departure in June. This move would offer him a chance to rectify the significant challenges he encountered in Italy. The Japanese were not up to the post-Milinkovic upheaval, and he put down his katana far too soon. RATING 5

Luis Alberto: The beginning of 2023 sees Luis Alberto on the bench, preparing for a potential return to Spain, while the conclusion features an injury during the Empoli match. Then he significantly influences the second half of the 2022-23 season and serves as the technical leader in the first half of 2023-24, until encountering groin difficulties in November. Following the rejection of Arabia's team and expected commotion at the end of summer, a contract renewal until 2028 has been secured, binding him to Biancoceleste for the long term. Despite occasional disagreements with teammates, he remains a standout player in Sarri's team, with whom he has developed an almost symbiotic relationship. RATING 7.5

Marcos Antônio: Saw limited utilization by Maurizio Sarri in the latter part of the season, making just nine appearances in the league and Conference League. Following his stint on the bench and contending with an ankle ailment, he was loaned out to Paok in the summer for approximately 300,000 euros. Unfortunately, his time in Greece did not bring significant improvement. With only two appearances in Super League 1 and one in the Conference thus far, he is currently recuperating from another injury, a muscular one, which recently allowed him to return to the pitch in December. RATING n/a

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Played a pivotal role, and Sarri seems to be struggling to compensate for his departure. Surprisingly, the Serbian's performance at the beginning of 2023 wasn't impressive. However, Milinkovic-Savic experienced a resurgence in the spring, playing a crucial role in Lazio's qualification for the Champions League by scoring five goals from April onwards. Notably, he netted a brace against Cremonese in front of 70,000 fans at the Olimpico in his final season with Lazio. This only adds to the regret, as if it wasn't already substantial. RATING 8

Nicolò Rovella: He required some time to adjust to Sarri's systems, but after making his debut as a starter against Torino, he consistently remained on the field. Taking on a pivotal role, Rovella became a reference point for the team, gradually showcasing a personality that was not evident before. Currently, he finds himself at a juncture where he must navigate through a challenging phase, akin to a dark and precarious tunnel. It will be up to him to make the quality leap anticipated by everyone in Formello and start making a significant impact. RATING 6.5

Matìas Vecino: Has consistently been a reliable choice for Sarri. In challenging and obstructed matches, Sarri turns to Vecino to navigate the difficulties. His 2023 began with several physical setbacks, starting with an uncooperative knee and followed by a hamstring injury. When Vecino contemplates a move to Turkey in the summer, Sarri intervenes to guide him back on the right path, leading him back home. Subsequently, Vecino delivers crucial goals against Torino, Atalanta, and Celtic. Disagreements are a natural aspect of any relationship, including theirs. However, once all issues are addressed, Vecino returns to the fold under Sarri. RATING 6.5

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