When Lazio signed Sergio Floccari from Genoa back in January 2010, the Biancocelesti were in a spot of bother in Serie A. One place and three points above the relegation zone, they had gone through September, October and November without winning a game and the club’s shot-shy team had scored just 10 goals in 17 games.
Having fired Atalanta to a lofty 11th place finish in the 2008-09 season scoring 12 goals and adding five assists in 33 games, Floccari’s spell in Bergamo ended after two seasons when the Calabrian striker joined Genoa. His form with the port city club was consistent with recent seasons, four goals in his first 11 games, but he was loaned out just in time for Lazio’s first game back from the winter break.
His impact on the Aquile was profound. Floccari’s brace in the 4-1 home win over relegation rivals Livorno on January 6th saw the Biancocelesti leapfrog the Tuscan side into 15th position and four days later, Floccari scored again to ensure Lazio picked up a point away at Udinese in a 1-1 draw.
However, following a 1-0 home defeat to Catania little short of a month later, Lazio found themselves inside the relegation zone and the winter blues appeared to have returned to the sky blue half of Rome. Floccari’s form helped steer the Aquile clear of the drop by 11 points though, eventually finishing 12th, and his six goals in the remaining 15 Serie A games following the Catania loss earned the striking saviour a permanent move to the Stadio Olimpico.
Fast forward 12 months on, it could be said that Floccari is unfortunate to be a seemingly unwanted part in a striking overhaul taking place at Lazio. His form was perhaps underwhelming compared to that of his loan spell, but eight goals from 25 starts, including valuable goals at home to eventual champions Milan and third place Napoli, was enough to make him the club’s third top scorer behind Hernanes with 11 and Mauro Zarate with nine.
Foreign imports Miroslav Klose and Djibril Cisse have arrived now though and Aquile Coach Edoardo Reja, backed by owner Claudio Lotito, obviously has big plans for Lazio in the coming season after narrowly missing out on Champions League qualification last campaign.
At 33, Klose is a proven goalscorer for Germany, but he’s never played for a club outside his home country and his form for Bayern Munich has been poor of late, with just four goals in 45 league appearances in the last two years. Twenty-nine-year-old Cisse on the other hand has been in fine form for Panathinaikos in the Greek Superleague, but it will be a big jump again for the Frenchman playing against much tougher Serie A defences. In his three seasons in the English Premier League, Cisse never managed more than 10 goals in any campaign.
Lazio’s two remaining out-and-out strikers, Tommaso Rocchi, 33, and Libor Kozac, 22, managed nine goals between them last season so selling Floccari, a man still in the prime of his career at 29, to a rival Serie A side may be risky business. His agent has indicated that a permanent transfer is more likely than a loan move and according to Italian media, Floccari has no shortage of suitors. If he does leave the Olimpico, Lazio’s loss could be somebody else’s gain.