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Fiorentina sign Joan Verdú from the UAE

Out of nowhere, Fiorentina sign La Liga veteran CM Joan Verdú Fernández as a free transfer.

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

After a summer of nonstop speculation, Fiorentina has finally made their traditional left field signing, announcing today that they have signed veteran Catalan La Liga midfielder Joan Verdú for free.

Verdú, a product of Barcelona's La Masia, spent four years at Barcelona B as one of the team's leaders. Much like Borja Valero at Madrid, he found it impossible to break into Barcelona's first team and eventually moved on, spending the prime of his career at Deportivo La Coruña and Espanyol; playing as both a deep lying playmaker and attacking midfielder depending on the health of often injured stars Juan Carlos Valerón and Iván de la Peña.

After a mediocre, injury plagued season at Real Betis which ended in relegation, Verdú moved abroad, signing for Abu Dhabi's Baniyas of the Arabian Gulf League. Here he spent a year under fellow Spaniard Luis García, scoring 10 goals in 24 games.

The 32 year old returns to Europe to show he can still play at the highest level. It is possible that Verdú was marked out by assistant coach Víctor Sánchez, a veteran trainer of Barcelona's youth teams before teaming up with Sousa three years ago.

Verdú is in many ways a similar player to Borja Valero, a sleek passer who fits in as both a deep lying playmaker and in more of an attacking free role. One thing he does better than Borja is free kicks, and as a result was a more prolific goal scorer in Spain. He's definitely no defensive midfielder and after a poor final season in La Liga and a season spent in the semi-retirement wilderness of gulf football, Verdú may no longer be the playmaker he was- especially at Espanyol - but this is a low risk, moderate reward move, that at a minimum gives Fiorentina more midfield depth, depending on the fate of Vecino of course.