The oldest active and the fourth most successful club in Italy, Genoa, is experiencing an upsurge of form after being plagued with troubles since they earned promotion back into the Serie A in the 2007/8 season after 12 long years in the wilderness.

In May 2019, the club released a statement on its official website, announcing that the club owned by Enrico Preziosi for the past 16 years is for sale. The statement reads:

“Genoa Cricket and Football Club announces that a mandate had been given to Assietta S.p.A., a financial advisory firm specialised in corporate finance, as advisor for the sale of the company.”

The announcement came during Genoa’s relegation battle last season and at a time when things were coming to a head for Preziosi who has been trying to sell the club for several years amid poor results which have sparked protests by the fans. Preziosi’s relationships with the fans has been toxic for some time, that he can’t even attend home games.

One of the biggest reasons for the tension between Preziosi and the fans is the denial of a UEFA license by the Italian Football Federation in 2015 after they finally made it back into the European slots due to the Stadio Luigi Ferrari not being up to standard for UEFA competition. And back in 2017, a €120m takeover by financier Giulio Gallazzi fell through, which escalated the tension between Preziosi and the fans.

In his 16 years as owner, Preziosi has employed 14 coaches during his time in charge, some of them on several occasions and last season was no different. They also started this season with a new coach who has greatly improved the team with an exciting style of play, coupled with some impressive signings during the summer transfer window. This season has seen them play in a way that fans have not seen before and has given them a hope they have not had in years. Never would the Genoa of last season or two seasons ago, or even three seasons ago been able to open Serie A the way they have, coming back to earn a 3-3 draw with Roma analysed here, and holding on to a 2-1 lead against Fiorentina analysed here, but this team is different.

What has changed for Genoa this season?

Firstly, they brought in former Empoli coach Aurelio Andreazzoli who became their fourth coach in a 12-month period after Davide Ballardini, Ivan Juric and ex Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli were disposed of last season. Despite being relegated, Empoli played some interesting football under the 65-year old which was good to watch and now with better resources, hopes are higher than before.

They also made a statement by signing Denmark international Lasse Schone from Ajax, fresh from a domestic double with the Dutch side and a glorious Champions League campaign in which they reached the semi-finals, beating former holders Real Madrid and reigning Serie A champions Juventus.

Andreazzoli is pragmatic, progressive, very innovative and tactically flexible. His teams adopt a heavy pressing style when out of possession. He likes to man-mark and this has added some steel to a Genoa defence which was overrun last season in the Serie A. Also, when attacking, he likes to take things slowly and attempts to build from the back as most progressive sides do. In the 2-1 win against Fiorentina, these were on display especially in the attack, where they also focused on maximizing their effect from set-pieces.

Genoa are a work in progress and with Andreazzoli spearheading the rebuild with his style and summer acquisitions like promising forward Andrea Pinamonti who came in on loan from Inter, Antonio Barreca who came in on loan from Monaco and Riccardo Saponara who came in on loan from Fiorentina, as well as the former Juventus man Andrea Favilli, they should attract buyers who can infuse some more finances into the team and make them even more competitive. It is very early to tell just how they will do this campaign, but right now, no one will place them among the relegation candidates unlike previous seasons.

This could be an entertaining campaign, despite the club being up for sale.