Goalkeeping is one of the most demanding and strenuous positions to play in football. When keepers get a clean sheet, they are celebrated for doing their jobs correctly. Most of the time the defense gets a lot of the credit. When keepers have a string of bad games they are written off like they are terrible. There is a short leash for men that play the position, but when they are good it is tough for others on their team to get playing time. That occurred this season in Florence. Ciprian Tătărușanu was very good for Fiorentina. Even when they acquired some new blood, with the likes of Bartłomiej Drągowski and Marco Sportiello, who is on loan from Atalanta, Tătărușanu held the reigns on the position. How did each man fair when they got a chance this season?
Ciprian Tătărușanu - 8
Earlier this season I wrote about how the Romanian Goalkeeper was one of the bright spots on the Fiorentina roster. At that time Tătărușanu was really one of the only consistent presences on the Fiorentina squad. Day after day Paulo Sousa could count on Tătărușanu to at least give them a shot to win each an every time they played a match. There is no one that is more critical of Tătărușanu than I am. He will never be the player that Neto was for Fiorentina, but after that whole debacle stepped in very nicely. Honestly, the team did not skip a beat. The biggest knock is that he looks like he has two left feet, and neither one of them are his dominant foot. Any time a defender passed back to the Romanian international, it was a time to hold your breath. Even that improved this season. All in all he put on a good show for fans in Florence.
In all competitions between 2016 and 2017, Tătărușanu had 14 clean sheets in 42 matches. That means that once every three games the Romanian goalkeeper puts up a clean sheet. Also according to Squawka, Tătărușanu has a 1.46 goals conceded per match average in Serie A football. Ciprian Tătărușanu really had a great season and Fiorentina would have ended the year further down the table if he did not play as well as he did. Although he had a great year, there is a real possibility someone else will be in goal at Artemio Franchi next season. Further down list are three candidates to get more starts next campaign.
Marco Sportiello - 5
After coming over to Florence on loan from Atalanta, there were thoughts that Sportiello would give starter Tătărușanu a push for playing time. Sportiello had a successful beginning of his career as the starter for Atalanta. Since coming to Florence though Sportiello has barely gotten a chance to show the quality of player he is. That may all change if he is back in Florence next year. On the season Sportiello appeared twice for la Viola. Both of those games were full 90 minute appearances for Sportiello. Neither match was that inspiring. Combined between the two games Sportiello made 1 save. In total he gave up 4 goals in 180 minutes. Overall, not an exciting sample size, but there is more to find out about the Italian. He is currently signed on for next season. Look for an open competition for starts with the other goalkeepers to start the season.
Bartłomiej Drągowski - 5
Finally, in the last game of the season Bartłomiej Drągowski got an opportunity to play with the first team. For Fiorentina fans this was a long time coming. All signs point to the Polish international as being the heir to the goalkeeper throne in Florence, but he has to play to get that chance. Most of the season Drągowski was out with a knee injury. Well maybe it was not most of the season, but it was way longer than any fan would have liked. Well fans got their first look at the young goalkeeper this past weekend. In that game, Bart gave up 2 goals and had 3 saves in 90 minutes. We really cannot read too far into these statistics because it was one game. Even the best goalkeepers in the world put up bad numbers. These numbers are also not bad by any stretch. Either way, his injury plays a factor in his rating. If Drągowski played more he may have had a shot to get some more first team action. It will certainly be fun to see what happens with his career. In my FIFA season he is already a stud in net (I hope that helps somewhat).
Luca Lezzerini - 5
Even though Lezzerini was loaned out to Serie B side Avellino, he actually had the third most playing time in goal for Fiorentina this season. Lezzerini picked up a start against PAOK in the Europa league and also got some time against Chievo Verona as well. Neither were really great performances, but he got some experience at top flight football. Since his loan to Avellino, the young Italians career has not taken off much more. In fact he has less time for them this past season than he had in Florence. It is possible the 22 year-old’s days are numbered in Italian football or maybe he just needs more time to learn the ropes. I would guess its the latter. All things considered Lezzerini could still be a quality goalkeeper. He had success in the youth system and still is too young to make a decision on yet.
Giacomo Satalino - NA
We will throw Satalino in because he is still part of the team. The young Italian spent the entire season in Primavera A. He has a lot of hype behind him like the other two young goalkeepers on the roster. In 20 appearances in Primavera A, Satalino had 6 clean sheets. That is a nice number to have when a player is learning how to become a top tier keeper. Satalino may make a run at some playing time next season as well. Fiorentina has plenty of options in net. Look for the top 3 names on this list to get most of the time next season as the team looks to bounce back and get into European football again.
Which Viola goalkeeper impressed you the most this season?
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