Since eccentric film producer Massimo Ferrero bought Sampdoria back in June 2014, Il Doria have developed a burgeoning reputation as one of the modern game’s great buying and selling clubs.
Their comprehensive scouting network has allowed them to sign outstanding talents such as Fernando, Joaquin Correa, Milan Škriniar, Pedro Pereira, Dennis Praet and Patrik Schick.
Of those players, only the 23-year-old former Anderlecht youth product remains in the city of Genoa. The rest have all been sold for significantly more money than La Samp originally spent on them.
However, the aforementioned list of prospects who have passed through the gates of the Centro Sportivo Gloriano Mugnaini has several notable absentees.
Those who remain at Sampdoria look to be on the cusp of achieving something special under Marco Giampaolo, who has them sitting in sixth place with a game in hand over all but one of their rivals.
The 50-year-old coach’s preferred 4-3-1-2 formation is getting the very best out of midfield duo Lucas Torreira and Karol Linetty, who both seem to improve with each passing week. The sharks are already circling, while both club and fans know full well how difficult it will be to keep them beyond next summer.
Worryingly, rumours surfaced earlier this week suggesting that Uruguayan enforcer Torreira could be set to join La Liga giants Atlético Madrid as soon as January.
Although La Samp would be loathed to lose arguably their best player midway through the league season, they may find it difficult to reject Los Colchoneros’ reported €40 million bid. Needless to say, Linetty has also been linked with several top clubs, including Juventus, AC Milan and Roma.
Coach Giampaolo deserves a huge amount of credit for the manner in which both Torreira and Linetty have developed under his watchful eye. The fact his 4-3-1-2 system tends to allow the team to dominate numerically in midfield has given them the time and space they need to develop in the best possible way.
With all the short-termism that exists in football today, he should be lauded for having such a patient approach in getting the very best out of the youngsters at his disposal.
Though he is only 21 years of age, Uruguay national team coach Óscar Tabárez’s apparent reluctance to give Torreira his first cap is one of the great mysteries in the game today.
He has done more than enough to merit a chance to prove himself in what is an ageing midfield. Linetty – almost exactly a year older than his club teammate – has been trusted at international level and looks set to strut his stuff in Poland’s midfield for the next ten years alongside Napoli’s Piotr Zieliński.
La Samp fans should enjoy watching players of such tremendous quality while the can. Rightly or wrongly, the finances involved in modern football will dictate that they move on to bigger and better things before too long.
Whatever happens, and wherever Torreira and Linetty might end up plying their trade, one thing is certain; their names will be on the lips of fans and journalists for a long time to come, as I Blucerchiati’s jewels are destined to shine brightly on the world stage for the next decade at least.
Written by Jordan Russell
Follow Jordan on Twitter @JordRuss96
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