For a team like Fiorentina that doesn’t have the endless financial resources of, say, Chelsea, the transfer market is all about finding value. Daniele Pradè generally looked to damaged but talented veterans. Pantaleo Corvino, on the other hand, looks for talented but overlooked youngsters.
While the latter strategy is certainly more economically feasible, as the big-money sales of various of the Crow’s stars has demonstrated, raiding relegation-bound teams for talent has also worked out just fine for the Viola (viz. Borja Valero, Giuseppe Rossi, Gonzalo Rodríguez). To that end, then, let’s have a quick look see at the four teams that are relegation candidates in Serie A this year and see which of their players would most help the Gigliati next season.
With just 13 points from 30 matches, the Delfini are the league’s basement club and set for a quick return to the second tier. However, they’re hardly devoid of talent, particularly at fullback, which is a serious position of need in Florence. Former Inter Milan leftback Cristiano Biraghi would be a perfect fit at wingback, what with his pace, athleticism, sound defensive instincts, and tireless running. Francesco Zampano (previously linked to Fiorentina) is the same thing on the right, although his defending isn’t quite as strong, which is to be expected considering that he’s only been playing fulback for a year or so. Centerbacks Hugo Campagnaro and Andrea Coda and midfielders Ledian Memushaj and Gastón Brugman could also be cheap veteran depth.
It’s been a typically chaotic season for the Pink and Blacks, but it looks like they’ve Zamped their way right out of Serie A, accumulating a miserable 15 points. While goalkeeper Josip Posevac has been their breakout star, the Viola certainly don’t need another young custodian. That said, centerbacks Edoardo Goldaniga and Giancarlo González have both garnered Viola interest previously, and the former in particular could be a buy-low candidate to replace the departing Gonzalo. Midfielders Mato Jajalo and Ivaylo Chochev would be useful additions to the engine room, while striker Ilija Nestorovski is something of a Nikola Kalinić-lite.
The Squali haven’t impressed in their first-ever top flight season and sit on 17 points, partly because all their good players were bought up last season. They’ve still got some interesting pieces in attack, though, like versatile attacker Adrian Stoian and Max Acosty (a former Corvino signing, no less), as well as pace merchant Aleksandar Tonev, who can run really fast and kick a ball really hard and pretty much do nothing else soccer-related. Centerback Federico Ceccherini is also something of a rough diamond and can also fill in at rightback. Midfield grifters Marcus Rohdén and Andrea Barberis would also provide solid depth.
The Tuscans look likely to avoid the drop with their 22 points, but any Viola fan will tell you that late-season collapses can occur in this part of the peninsula. Obviously, leftback Manuel Pasqual is the emotional choice, but it’s not going to happen, so let’s move on. Rightback Vincent Laurini, however, has the athleticism and intelligence to provide an upgrade on the Viola flank. Teenage midfield destroyer Assane Dioussé is probably going to garner a lot of interest on the market, as he’s a skillful and rangy presence in the middle; his midfield colleague Marcel Büchel isn’t as exciting but is a steady passer and willing runner. Versatile attackers Omar El Kaddouri and Manuel Pucciarelli both have pace and technique and are comfortable on the wings.