This summer, Edoardo Reja seems intent on making a statement. He has added to his front line by signing Miroslav Klose and is reportedly closing in on the capture of Djibril Cisse, taking the number of senior forwards in his squad to seven if one includes Giuseppe Sculli. Being outscored by all four sides who finished above them, as well as the three directly below, appears to have had a profound effect on the Coach and he has set up his stall early to ensure there will be no repeat of the statistic next season.
Reja has been widely praised for bringing in Klose on a free transfer from Bayern Munich. The German international is vastly experienced and has a solid goal scoring record spanning an entire career. He struggled for games towards the end of his time at Bayern but remains a regular in the German national side. While he has never been noted for his contributions to general play, Klose regularly creates opportunities for himself and his teammates through clever movement in the final third.
A possible downfall in the signing of Klose is his age. At 33 he certainly has at least two more seasons in him, but his form dipped badly with Bayern and subsequently he lost his place in the side, leading some to speculate he may be past his best. Despite this possible flaw, the positives of the acquisition probably outweigh the negatives – not least because of the guidance and experience he can offer young players like Libor Kozak to aid their development.
Djibril Cisse is a different proposition entirely. At 29, Cisse is at the peak of his powers and appears keen to escape the relative mediocrity of the Greek league. While a large chunk of his career was taken away from him by injury, he has well and truly found his feet and his shooting boots at Panathinaikos. His record of 47 goals in 60 games is impressive regardless of the quality of opposition and, should the transfer progress without a hitch, he will be a terrifying prospect for any Serie A defence. Primarily known for his searing pace, he is also a calm finisher and a player who can win matches for his team almost single-handed. Whether alongside a partner or as a lone striker, Cisse would add a great deal to any side.
These acquisitions raise questions regarding the future of last season’s Aquile strike force. While there have been suggestions Floccari could be shown the door this summer, Lazio were quick to deny he would be loaned out. Floccari’s agent recently claimed: “Lazio, if they decide to release him, will never give him away on a temporary switch.” No matter who leaves, the signs are all suggesting Lazio’s front line for the 2011-12 campaign could well be one to watch.