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Mercato Debate: In Defense of Frugality

While Fiorentina has bought superstars over the past few years, it is now time to rebuild, and find young, quality affordable players, rather than a few superstars.

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Giuseppe Rossi, Juan Cuadrado, and most notably Mario Gomez. Three high profile players at Fiorentina that have all (in their way) failed to meet increased expectations after the Viola invested heavily in their talents with transfer fees and pricey contracts. Rossi, better known as Pepito, has battled knee injuries over his entire spell with the Viola. Cuadrado was the "big signing" of last summer when Fiorentina bought his other half from Udinese, but the Colombian was far less brilliant than he was before the World Cup, and was then bought by Chelsea this January. As for Mario Gomez...well, there is not much to say; he has been a complete bust.

In the couple years since the Montella revolution, Fiorentina has usually spent 10-20 million Euro total in transfers, usually in the summer, and usually with much of that money invested on one player. Of course, some high profile sales have mitigated the cost of those pricey transactions. Regardless, the Viola have not qualified for the Champions League this season, and have a number of formidable players coming off the books, leaving doubt in the minds of their supporters as to whether or not the club will spend more to replenish the squad this summer.

The word "frugality" - especially when talking about an owner - is never a compliment for a fan base. In fact, nothing has driven Viola fans more crazy than when their owner won't let his wallet leave his pocket. However, the idea of spending money, and spending it wisely, at least demands creativity from a club like Fiorentina.  Perspective is necessary. After the disappointment of having to sell Cuadrado to Chelsea, avid Fiorentina supporter and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said: "Maybe with that money we can rebuild the team".

The addition of Egyptian Chelsea player Mohammed Salah on loan definitely brought hope to the Viola faithful. He took Serie A by storm, most memorably netting strikes against Tottenham in the Europa league, and two goals at Juventus in the Coppa Italia semi-finals. It looks as if Salah will accept what is said to be an "insane offer" from Fiorentina, and all fans of the club can only hope that young, passionate, dazzling players like the Egyptian will find their way over to Florence.

The club is transitioning; there will not be players such as Kurtic, Illicic, Aquilani, and Neto on the pitch for the Viola next season.  While there is not an exact number for the amount of money that Delle Valle will spend during this summer transfer market, some money spent wisely can be so much more valuable than a highly lucrative contract given to a superstar.  As the Viola as an organization has seen, top players can never see the pitch (Rossi), they can be sold for economic purposes (Cuadrado), or they can just flat out forget how to score (Gomez).

The only exception to this point at the moment would be Mohammed Salah. If Salah does decide to accept Fiorentina's offer, than yes, his youth, explosive talent, and an apparent propensity for health are all positives to look forward to... Not to mention that his value is potentially growing. If Salah, however decides to leave the Viola, there is no need for the team to entertain the possibility of adding another superstar.

Right now is a time for the Viola to rebuild; a time for them to get younger, find humble players with a burning desire to win, and then become flat out dangerous. We reported at Viola Nation that Fiorentina agreed to "personal" terms for Taulant Xhaka from Basel, and Daniele Baselli's agent states that he will meet the Viola again next week. There haven't been many "high profile" players in connection to Fiorentina, and while that doesn't sound promising, that can actually be a good thing.

It's time to get rid of all the dead weight on the Viola roster. Enough with older, established players who seem to only "play for the paycheck".  After paying for Salah, there should be at least a good 10 million Euro left after releasing the Aquilanis of the roster. With that money Daniele Prade and company can find young, quality, promising players who will commit to new head coach Sousa's system, youngsters who will play with tenacity and a will to win. After trying, and not completely succeeding with a few superstars, it's time to rebuild. Time to spend money the right way.  Forza Viola.