Sevilla saw flashes of brilliance from Joaquín Correa and while they may have been less frequent than desired, Lazio could have a bargain on their hands at €16 million.
The 23-year-old received a warm welcome in Rome when he arrived on Monday and after completing a medical, it looks a formality that Correa will complete the transfer for a fee that could rise to €20 million.
Instability at Sevilla last season eventually saw Correa lose his place in the side and under interim coach Joaquín Caparros, now the Director of Football, Tucu barely featured in the final games of the league season.
With Caparros clearly not a fan, new coach Pablo Machín has been willing to sell Correa in order to raise funds and so despite paying Sampdoria €13 million only two years ago, Lazio have been able to finalise a deal.
Lazio just missed out on Champions League qualification, finishing fifth last season, but manager Simone Inzaghi is assembling a squad that could make that final push up the Serie A table.
“I’m satisfied with Correa’s arrival. He’s young and he has quality,” Inzaghi said after the Argentinian arrived in Rome.
After selling Brazilian Felipe Anderson to West Ham United for around €40 million, Lazio lost one talented yet hugely inconsistent star and they’ve arguably added another in Correa. However, at a fraction of the cost and still only 23, Correa could prove a huge success back in Italy.
Seven goals and seven assists last season for Sevilla was a disappointing return for a player of Correa’s talents and the versatile forward will be looking to add to that.
A tall, rangy attacking midfielder initially, Correa’s pace, trickery and powerful right foot allowed him to play across the attack, often driving inside from the left to pose a threat in the final third.
Since moving to Europe, with Sampdoria initially, Correa has retained the inconsistencies associated with many young players but also shown the ability to play as a striker and made his Argentina debut under Jorge Sampaoli.
Perhaps if Sampaoli had remained in Sevilla, things could have been different in Andalusia for Correa but the unrest at the club has hardly helped a player still trying to identify his best position.
Hopefully Lazio will provide the platform for Correa to blossom as there is no question that the talent is there. That much has been clear since his debut at Estudiantes and while there has been progression in Europe it is now time to make the next step in development.