La Roca, as he’s affectionately dubbed, will join Fiorentina on loan from Aston Villa. He’s expected to arrive in Florence tomorrow for his medical and to sign the official documents, but the Viola, the Villains, and the player have all agreed to a one year loan deal for a fee of €500,000 and with an option to buy him that will become mandatory should he appear in half of his new club’s matches this season.
The 30-year-old Colombian international, as we’ve previously reported, is pretty much purely a destroyer, notable for his physical strength and utter lack of pace, for which he was badly exposed in the ultra-fast Premier League. The slower pace of Serie A should suit him nicely, although he’s probably best suited to life as a backup with Fiorentina, given the quality elsewhere available in the midfield. As you can see in the video, he’s a powerful (or violent, depending on how you want to phrase it) presence at the base of the midfield and generally looks to play sideways to the fullbacks.
That will doubtless be the criticism of the move. In and of itself, it’s a fine piece of business: a player who’s been capped 67 times for Colombia and fills a very specific role for the squad, gotten at a discount. However, with holes all across the defense and serious questions about the wide attacking areas, it may be fair to question the wisdom of signing a part-time player.