The latest news indicates that Paulo Sousa will be overseeing a tweaked Fiorentina defense for the coming season. Following the departure of Micah Richards following the end of his loan spell, there were questions about whether Lorenzo De Silvestri would return to Florence after his performances on loan at Sampdoria earned him a berth in the Italian national team.
But, after several seasons of various loans and co-ownership situations, the right back has instead officially joined Sampdoria on a permanent basis, for a fee of only 1 million Euro.
Joining in 2009 after a falling-out with Lazio owner Claudio Lottito, De Silvestri made seventy four appearances for La Viola. The Roman fullback played a big role under both Prandelli and Mihajlović. He even played a few games at left back while Manuel Pasqual recovered from an injury.
But it was never meant to be. Under Vincenzo Montella, De Silvestri made his initial move to Sampdoria first on loan, then in a co-ownership deal. With the coming demise of the shared ownership structure, it is little surprise to see the player moving permanently to the Genoese club. Whether he could have been of any use to Paulo Sousa is yet to be seen, but new arrivals in the defensive department will now be mandatory given there remains only one "right back" (Nenad Tomovic, a converted central defender) in the first team roster from last season.
In fact, the adding process is starting at the grassroots level. Today word came through that Fiorentina youngster Luca Bittante is being given an opportunity at his parent club next season. After apparently frantic meetings between Fiorentina and Avellino to resolve the co-ownership situation before the deadline, the defender will be treated to a four year deal at the Serie A club. Bittante has made 88 appearances for the Serie B side and is only now 21.
Bittante was a Fiorentina youth player who has been co-owned by both clubs for two seasons, so should take no time to adjust to his new surroundings. Able to play on either flank as a full back, he can also move up on to the wing should Sousa opt to use a 3-5-2 system. With the ability to cover a number of positions, it's interesting to see if and how the promising young Italian will fit into Sousa's defense, or if he will be farmed out on loan again, perhaps to a lower-level Serie A side.