If reports are to be believed then newly promoted Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion have made a surprise bid for AC Milan striker Gianluca Lapadula, who has been a target for Merseyside club Everton for quite some time now. The former Serie A giants are planning a major overhaul to the side which has failed to perform at the top level for the past few seasons, and Lapadula doesn’t have a place in the major scheme of plans.
Despite being the first side to gain promotion to the top-flight English football, Brighton didn’t have an overtly dominating season in the Championship last term, as Newcastle United had, Chris Hughton has a balanced side, who more than anything gets the job done, even if by the slimmest of differences. The Seagulls have won most of their games by small margins and ended the season scoring 74 goals, 11 less than the Magpies.
And while it was perfectly normal in the second-tier, the ballgame changes extremely in the Premier League. Hughton, who has previously managed Newcastle in the Premier League, knows pretty well he cannot afford to have a blunt start to the season. Although he has some prolific forwards in Glenn Murray and Anthony Knockaert, their pathetic Premier League experiences in previous stints with other clubs is a big gamble.
They already have acquired a quality midfielder in Pascal Gross from recently relegated Bundesliga side FC Ingolstadt 04, and in Lapadula, they hope to rope in a quality forward to link up with each other. The Torino-born forward moved to AC Milan in the summer of 2016 from Pescara, who were relegated last season, but has failed to impress.
He was kept more as a bench player to Milan’s Carlos Bacca. He managed to start just 12 Serie A matches and 27 appearances in total, scoring only eight goals and assisting four times in the process. However, his displays did earn him a national call-up two months back in April, and the centre forward notched a hat-trick in Azzurri colours.
A youth product of Juventus, he was released quite early by the Giants leading him to spend time with numerous sides so far. Treviso took him up early on followed by second-tier FC Pro Vercelli 1892 and US Ivrea Calcio before Parma bought him. He was then sent on loan to sides like Atletico Roma, Ravenna FC, San Marino Calcio, AC Cesena, Frosinone Calcio, ND Gorica and Teramo Calcio before Pescara got him.
Spending so much time in his homeland, Lapadula quite understandably doesn’t want a move away from Italy. But in case Milan decides to offload him, he won’t have much of a choice.