Although these players struggled in the English top flight initially, they found the Italian league more to their liking.
The Premier League is arguably the most competitive league in the world. The excitement, the level of competition, and the unpredictability of the league is what makes it exhilarating to watch and has endeared the league and its participating teams to billions of fans across the globe. However, a few times, after being unable to make it big in England, players have opted to move to the Serie A.
While the league has had its heroes, it has also had its fair share of stories of failure and people moving out in search of a better opportunity. It either didn’t work out for these players or they found themselves getting less than what they perhaps deserved.
Here, we will be focusing on five players who moved from the Premier League to revive their career in the Serie A.
5. Federico Fazio
Federico Fazio signed for Tottenham in 2014-15. He was one of the first signings made by then new manager Mauricio Pochettino. Signed on a four-year contract, Fazio had a horror debut as he got sent off against Manchester City for a foul on Sergio Aguero, who was through on goal.
He could never reclaim his form back and featured in only 20 Premier League games in his first season at the club. His inconsistency compounded by his propensity to getting booked often meant that he featured in a solitary League Cup game the following season and was shipped back to Sevilla on loan in the second half of the 2015-16 season where he fared no better.
He then moved to AS Roma in the Serie A on another loan move, which was made permanent in the summer of 2017. Since then the Argentine has featured in 121 games in the league for the Giallorossi and has been an important part of their defensive setup. His newfound consistency and experienced has helped the cause of the club greatly and is a far cry from the days when he used to struggle for game time in North London.
4. Juan Cuadrado
Cuadrado made his Premier League bow with Chelsea whom he joined in 2015 from Fiorentina in a deal that saw Mohammed Salah go the other way on loan. The Colombian offered great potential on the flanks for the Blues but was under-utilized by then manager Jose Mourinho.
Cuadrado featured in 12 games in the league but offered no goal contributions to the side. Ahead of the 2015-16 season, Cuadrado shifted to Serie A champions Juventus on a loan deal and has since played in 142 league games for the Turin-based club, having excelled in a wing-back role. For his efforts, Cuadrado has since won all five Serie A titles ever since he joined them and also featured in the 2016-17 Champions League final.
Suso came out of Liverpool’s Academy in 2012 but found tough competition in other wingers like Raheem Sterling and new signings Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho. As a result, he featured in just 14 games in his first and only Premier League season, and was eventually loaned out to Almeria.
His return didn’t change matters and he moved to AC Milan in the Serie A in 2015, where he made his name as an enterprising winger.
Suso featured 126 times for AC Milan and scored 21 goals winning the Supercopa Italiana in 2016. His work-rate and smartness on the ball made him a tough prospect and a key component of the Rossoneri’s fortunes.
His performances in Milan earned him a move back to Spain with Sevilla, where he currently plies his trade.
2. Luis Alberto
A product of the famed Sevilla Youth Academy, Luis Alberto joined Liverpool in 2013 with experience of having played in Barcelona and Sevilla’s B teams. Alberto showed glimpses of his quality but it wasn’t enough in a Liverpool frontline burgeoning with quality.
Alberto played in only nine games before being moved out on loan for a couple of spells. His time to shine eventually came when he got the nod to move to Serie A outfit Lazio. Ever since his move to Rome, the playmaker has been an inextricable part of the Biancocelesti’s setup.
In his four seasons with Lazio so far, Alberto has missed only 17 games in the league and has been the creative force behind their success so far. He has also won the Coppa Italia in 2018-19 and two Supercoppas Italiana in 2017 and 2019, a far cry from the days when he was struggling to get regular gametime at Anfield.
1. Mohammed Salah
We all know by now that Mohammed Salah has already ensconced himself in Premier League folklore in his time at Liverpool. The winger has been stunning for the Reds ever since moving from AS Roma in the summer of 2017.
What makes his story even more special is his first spell in the Premier League which was nothing inspiring and saw him move to the Serie A with Fiorentina to find game time and fulfil his potential.
Putting his lost time in England behind, Salah played 16 times for Fiorentina on loan scoring six goals. He then moved on to Roma on loan, who made his move permanent a year later. In the eternal city, Salah scored 29 goals in 65 games and mesmerized everyone with his blistering pace, finishing ability and his overall quality on and off-the-ball.
Salah since moved from Roma to Liverpool and the rest as we know it, is history, and a true tale of redemption as well.