Matias Vecino got a rare turn at the microphone this morning. His statements were the sort of carefully crafted, inoffensive "athlete speak" we've come to expect from anyone who plays a sport professionally, but a little bit of excitement still managed to shine through. After spending the past two years on loan at Cagliari and Empoli, the 23-year-old Uruguayan is ready to fight for a place with Fiorentina.
Vecino was very solid for Empoli last year. Comfortable in the middle or on the right, he's a tidy passer, a strong dribbler, and a capable tackler who also likes to shoot from distance. His reading of the game could improve, but he's still young, and now, with two seasons of Serie A experience, ready to blossom. Expect the Uruguayan youth international to finally stick with the squad and get some significant minutes this season.
Even Primavera star Simone Minelli got a chance to speak with the press. The young attacker, called up to the senior squad this offseason after a debut in the Europa League, expressed his desire to hang with the big boys this year and make some noise.
A pacey wide player, Minelli's only first team action was as an early injury replacement for Juan Cuadrado against Dinamo Minsk. He produced some good moments, assisting on the only Fiorentina goal and showcasing some neat passing. He could have easily had a goal, too, but for some youthful nerves in front of goal. His speed and clever runs across the formation are probably qualities Sousa will admire, but it remains to be seen if the 18-year-old Italian is ready for a full season in Serie A just yet. Oh, and have you seen this Ibra-like backheel goal he scored with the youth team? Because it's pretty great:
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