Mercato Roundup: An Overview of Summer 2013

You can never have too many pictures of the perfect couple. Photo - Valerio Pennicino

The season has only just begun, but it already feels like a relief to catch our breath after a whirlwind start and the end of the transfer window. With the summer mercato properly behind us, let's take a look at what the best and worst Fiorentina moves this summer might be.

Best

Mario Gomez - It would be impossible not to begin with Fiorentina's new record signing from Bayern Munich. More than any other signing, he has declared the team's (and the organization's) intention to not only match last season's achievements, but to aim even higher. His first Serie A goals last weekend at Genoa won't be his last.

Joaquin & Rebic - I lump these two wide players together because of their similar attributes and similar roles in the side. They are technically gifted, quick players with a nose for goal and international caps found astutely by Prade and Macia for a combined €6.5m. Joaquin comes with veteran experience in Europe and the desire to enjoy himself, Rebic with a hunger to play and raw potential. Together the two add high calibre depth and tactical variability to Montella's options.

Selling Jovetic to Manchester City - We feared the worst after Jovetic's Gazzetta dello Sport interview, perhaps a mid July sale to hated rivals for less money than we hoped. But we underestimated our fantastic ownership and front office who, after already investing in Mario Gomez, managed to manipulate the market to their advantage again and bring in a huge bounty for our Montenegrin talent. Jovetic, you will be missed, but this was the best of all possible moves.

Alonso - Rumors of bringing the former Real Madrid youth product to Florence from Bolton last January were already exciting, but to do it this summer at no cost is quite a coup. The youngster has all the skills to become a complete left wingback if he gets his head on straight, and will benefit from having Pasqual's veteran presence ahead of him on the team sheet.

Worst

Not buying the other half of Juan Cuadrado - After completing the official purchase of half of the player, Fiorentina could have ended potential complications in future windows by making an offer for the rest of the player towards the end of this summer. We opted to move forward in co-ownership, a situation that might prove very tricky to resolve in future, given Vespa's outrageous talent, and his importance in our team.

Ljajic - Although Rebic and Ilicic appear to be able replacements between the two of them, Adem Ljajic was the player of the last quarter of last season, at times appearing to score when he felt like it. After years of waiting for him to come good, it is heart-wrenching to see him leave in such a fashion. While we received a good fee for him considering his contract was expiring, and I do get the feeling that the move will prove to be better for us than for him, if Adem continues his development he could easily be worth €40m in a season or two.

Seferovic - Selling him was the right decision since we have so much attacking talent in the side as it is. But even with the strong desire to see less of Ramadani, Fiorentina should have set a higher price tag on Seferovic's talent. Haris looks to be coming good at Real Sociedad, and has already scored in the Champions League.

???

Sticking with Neto - Truly the joker in the deck of this season. He might begin fulfilling his potential, become a firm fan favorite, and become a new bandiera in goal. If he were to have strong season as a starter for a team like Fiorentina, he would be considered one of the best young keepers in Europe. But there remains a fear of him costing the team points, and we could conceivably return to the mercato in January with our tail firmly between our legs. In any case, now is the time to be fans: let us trust in Montella's judgement, and say #forzaNeto

Ilicic - Our second most expensive purchase this summer will be a back up for Giuseppe Rossi, and might find his minutes consequently limited by formation and squad selection in Europe... but he is undeniably talented. The question of attitude - determination, tactical intelligence, patience, work rate - will be key in seeing if he can be a decisive player for us.

Vecino - The mystery kid from Uruguay is young and apparently very talented, and it is nice to finally have him officially a Fiorentina player. But with the wealth of attacking midfield options, it is unclear where he now fits into Montella's plans. He has already missed the cut for the initial Europa League roster, so he may remain an unknown quantity for much longer than expected.

Here is the full list of our summer transfer activity.

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Fiorentina Transfer Activity

Purchases (€40.2 million)

MUNUA (goalkeeper): free

ALONSO (defender): free

TOMOVIC (defender): exercised purchasing option of loan, 1.7m

AMBROSINI (midfielder): free

BAKIC (midfielder): as part of the Cerci deal

VECINO (midfielder): only now officialized, €2m

JOAQUIN (winger): €2m

ILICIC (midfielder/forward): €9m (over two seasons)

CUADRADO (winger): half of the player, 5m

IAKOVENKO (forward): free

MARIO GOMEZ (forward): €16m + bonuses

REBIC (forward): €4.5m

Sales (€45.25 million)

VIVIANO (goalkeeper): end of loan

CASSANI (defender): loan

CAMPORESE (defender): loan

MIGLIACCIO (midfielder): end of loan

ROMULO (midfielder): loan with right to renew

LLAMA (midfielder): end of loan

SISSOKO (midfielder): end of loan

CERCI (winger): €4.25m for the second half of the player

LJAJIC (forward): €11m + bonus

JOVETIC (forward): €27m + bonus

EL HAMDAOUI (forward): loan with option to renew

TONI (forward): free

LARRONDO (forward): end of loan

SEFEROVIC (forward): €3m

Total balance (excluding bonuses and salaries) + €5m

MERCATO GRADE: B+

We added very high calibre talent in key tactical positions, have deepened the team in almost every position, and possess what is possibly the best attack in Italy. A deep-lying midfielder and a more battle-tested goalkeeper may have given us more confidence, but it is hard - let alone poor form - to whinge too much about a team with such an outstanding upside, a team that has been built quickly but also in a sustainable fashion. The present and future both look bright for Fiorentina.

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