Matias Fernandez (AC Milan): The 30-year-old Chilean midfielder is finally recovered from a knee injury picked up this summer and played 27 minutes off the bench in relief of youngster Mario Pantalic in the 1-2 win at Palermo this past week. He’s healthy and saying all the right things, especially about manager Vincenzo Montella, but it’s hard to see him getting a lot of minutes in a crowded midfield.
Jaime Baez (Spezia): The 21-year-old Uruguayan attacker continues to start on the wing for Spezia most weeks. He’s now 7 starts and 2 substitute appearances out of 12 matches, which is encouraging. However, he hasn’t scored since September, and his end product continues to let him down. He’s got everything but that elusive final touch, though, so it should be just a matter of time until he breaks through and fulfills on the promise that saw him ranked one of the most promising youngsters in the world a couple of years ago.
Ricardo Bagadur (Benevento): The 21-year-old Croatian centerback is still unable to earn himself any kind of role other than bench player for the Stregoni. He’s made a single 7 minute cameo (in the first game of the season) and hasn’t appeared since. Benevento can trigger a sale at the end of the season if they choose—although Fiorentina left themselves a buy-back clause—but if things keep up like this, he’ll be back in Florence come June.
Gilberto (Latina): The 23-year-old Brazilian rightback has recovered from a knee injury that forced him to miss more than a month. He came on for the final 26 minutes a sub, and nearly got an assist with a headed pass to Daniele Corvia, who bottled the finish. Hopefully, he’ll kick on and get the minutes he wants, as he has a tendency to pout when not given playing time. The Viola obviously see something in him, as they haven’t inserted a sale clause in his deal, so hopefully he’ll get it in gear soon.
Jacopo Petriccione (Ternana): The 22-year-old defensive midfielder continues to work as a set-and-forget starter for manager Benny Carbone. He got his 2nd assist of the year with an absolutely inch-perfect cross for the Felipe Avenatti’s equalizer.
He also recently spoke to the media about his career, thanking Carbone for his confidence and explaining that he’s equally happy as a regista (where he seems like a natural fit) or in a slightly more advanced role. He’s not the flashiest or most exciting player in the system, but he’s steady, productive, and looks likely to have a long career as a professional.
Lorenzo Venuti (Benevento): The 21-year-old rightback continues to star for the Stregoni. He’s played all 90 minutes of every match but one so far this season, and has also gotten a bit of time on the wing, although his future’s almost certainly in the defense. He’s sound on the back foot and improving on the front foot. A platoon of Venuti and Kevin Diks would make for an intriguing option next season at rightback.
Steve Beleck (Umraniyespor—Turkey): The 23-year-old Cameroonian striker continues to start every match, but still hasn’t gotten on the scoresheet after 9 matches. His rugged presence up front certainly draws in a defense, opening up options for other attackers, but it’d be nice to see the young man from Yaounde actually score at some point. It’s beginning to look like it’s just not going to happen for him, and he’ll probably end up kicking around lower-tier sides for the next decade or so. A renewal with Fiorentina doesn’t seem in the cards.
Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt—Germany): The 23-year-old Croatian attacker is out with a torn ankle ligament, with no date set for his return. It’s a frustrating time for an injury, as he was just starting to settle in, having provided a couple of assists in his last 3 matches and looked really sharp in the draw with Bayern Munich. He’s still a promising, albeit incomplete, player, so it’s hard to say if Frankfurt will trigger the buy option in his contract at the end of the year.
Giuseppe Rossi (Celta Vigo—Spain): The 29-year-old striker continues to operate as the starting Europa League option up top for os Celticos, where he’s started 3 of 4 matches and scored. In la Liga, though, he remains a bench option at best and has just a single goal in his 6 substitute appearances. It’s probably frustrating, seeing as how he left Florence looking for regular playing time, but that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Don’t be surprised if Celta triggers the option for a second loan year in his contract, especially if they can’t hang onto both of Iago Aspas and John Guidetti this summer.
Andres Schetino (Sevilla—Spain): The 22-year-old Uruguayan defensive midfielder continues to toil away in the second division with Sevilla’s reserve/youth team. He’s doing pretty well, honestly, and I’d expect Sevilla to trigger the buyout clause since it can’t be all that much.