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Lega Pro, Serie D, and other league loanee reports

Time for some more status updates on the Viola boys out on loan. I'm so sorry for the picture, but there was no way I wasn't going to use it because good gravy just look at it.

Oh no Marko what are you doing no no no
Oh no Marko what are you doing no no no

Lega Pro

Alessandro Bacci (Siena): The 20 year old goalkeeper remains the top backup to Novara loanee Lorenzo Montipò; with 4 straight clean sheets, it's unlikely that manager Guido Carboni is going to make any drastic changes, especially as the Bianconeri sit 8 points off a promotion playoff spot.

Lorenzo Bardini (Prato): The 19 year old goalkeeper and Florence native is back to the bench after a brief run in the squad. His birthday is next Tuesday, but it looks like his third decade of existence is set begin as his second will end: as a substitute. Still, he's progressing nicely, all things considered.

Marco Berardi (Pordenone): The versatile 20 year old midfielder hasn't made it onto the pitch for the past 4 matches. With the Ramarri firmly in the promotion places--12 points out of first and 4 clear of the fifth-placed team--so manager Bruno Tedino doesn't have any motivation to change a working formula. Berardi will continue to work as a sub, and maybe get the occasional spot start.

Axel Gulin (Catania): The 20 year old winger remains parked on the substitutes' bench. As the Elefanti are in a bit of a free fall (they're W2 D2 L5 in their last 10), new manager Francesco Moriero may start shuffling his lineup; young Axel should have a chance to seize some minutes with some strong performances in training.

Saverio Madrigali (Arezzo): The 21 year old centerback played the full 90 in Sunday's 0-1 loss to Siena, which broke a streak of 3 straight clean sheets for teh Amaranti. Young Saverio has been a big part of that stingy defense (they've conceded just 5 times in their last 10 matches), and looks like he could wind up being the real deal.

Jacopo Petriccione (Pistoiese): The 21 year old midfielder went the distance in Sunday's 2-1 loss at Ancona. It's good to see that he's fully recovered from a bout with the flu a couple weeks ago and that he's back to being a poor man's Leonardo Capezzi, which I don't mean as an insult.

Serie D

Daniele Ansini (Viterbese Castrense): The 20 year old midfielder scored his 3rd goal of the season in Sunday's 0-4 rout at Lanusei. The week before, he got his 2nd in the 2-0 win over Rieti. Viterbese have been leading the pack for several months, and, despite a brief hiccup in which he was benched for a few weeks, Ansini's been a steady contributor.

Jacopo Pagnini (Poggibonsi): The 19 year old keeper played all 90 minutes in Sunday's 0-3 win at Sangiovannese. He's led the Leoni to a 10 match undefeated streak, keeping 8 clean sheets and conceding just twice along the way. While he may not be the prospect that, say, Giacomo Satalino is, Pagnini's doing all the right things so far. Also, holy smokes does Fiorentina have a bunch of hot prospect young goalkeepers right now: Luca Lezzerini, Satalino, Bacci, Bardini, and Pagnini all look like they could wind up being serviceable journeymen, and could be a lot better than that.

Foreign leagues

Marko Bakić (Belenenses--Portugal): The 22 year old Montenegrin midfielder scored with a header off of a set piece in Tuesday's 2-5 reverse against Sporting CP. That's now 3 goals and 2 assists in 10 matches for him; he looks like he may be the best player for os Belem, and he certainly sounds happy with his starring role and, more importantly, his health (he'd been sidelined for nearly 2 years). He's got the potential to be a Matías Vecino-level late bloomer, which sure would be swell for his parent club.

Steve Leo Beleck (CFR Cluj--Romania): The 23 year old Cameroonian attacker came on for 23 minutes in last weeks 0-1 loss to Voluntari for his first appearance in the Romanian clausura (for want of a better term), but resumed his unused substitute status in Saturday's 2-0 win over Chiajna. The Viola are probably starting to wonder when it's time to pull the plug on him; a few good performances would go a long way towards solidifying some kind of role with the club next season.

Mario Gómez (Beşiktaş--Turkey): The 30 year old German striker played 90 minutes in Tuesday's 2-1 loss at Kasimpasa. Also, he's clearly in a funk, since this makes 2 straight matches in which he hasn't scored. This is only the third time he's been held scoreless in back-to-back league games, which is absolutely absurd. Were I a betting man (and I'm not), I'd back him to get back on the score sheet this week, considering that he's got 19 goals in 27 matches.

Ianis Hagi (Viitorul Constanta--Romania): The 17 year old Hungarian attacker got the first 56 minutes in Tuesday's 0-2 loss to Dinamo Bukarest. His versatility is wonderful, as he can play as a striker, an attacking midfielder, or out on the wing, but the results haven't been there for him: his only goal of the season came in August, and he's played a lot of minutes since then. His name remains chiseled into Gheorghe Hagi's team sheet, though, so at least he'll keep getting playing time.

Giuseppe Rossi (Levante): The 29 year old Italian striker started and came out after 75 minutes in Tuesday's scoreless draw against Sporting Gijón. He's killing it in Spain, but it sounds like things may not be as good as previously reported, as Rubi has given him the hook with about 20 minutes remaining in the past several matches, which is leaving Pepito frustrated. This is the best possible thing for Fiorentina: he's scoring, confident, feels fit enough for 90 minutes, and has that competitive edge back that was so clearly missing earlier in the season. Can't wait to see him next season.

Rafał Wolski (Wisła Kraków--Poland): The 23 year old Polish midfielder scored another header and set up 2 others with excellent free kick deliveries in 82 minutes, utterly dominating Monday's 2-3 win at Ruch Chorzow. That makes 3 straight matches he's gotten a goal and an assist. He's starting to regain that imperious form that he only reached previously in FIFA 12, and it's pretty darn cool. Glad to see he's managed to find his way out of the wilderness.