After a preseason that left us with questions about the defense, Pantaleo Corvino has come through with a surprise reinforcement for the central defense. It has been confirmed that German Pezzella is joining Fiorentina from Real Betis on loan. Fiorentina will pay Los Verdiblancos €500,000 for his services this year, with an option to buy him for €10M after that.
A 26 year old center back from Argentina, Pezzella, as previously described, is an aggressive stopper willing to make aggressive tackles who is good in the air. Although no playmaking libero like Davide Astori or the departed Gonzalo Rodriguez, he resembles the former captain in his ability to make attacking runs forward when the opportunity arises, and is a significant set piece threat.
Fiorentina has previously purchased Vitor Hugo to replace Gonzalo, however the Brazilian remains an unknown in Europe and Corvino deserves credit for taking advantage of the falling out between Pezzella and new Betis manager Quique Setien. Pezzella has been previously linked with Inter and Roma, however Corvino’s commitment has resulted in Betis lowering their asking price. With Hugo needing time to adapt to Europe and Nikola Milenkovic still raw, Pezzella will likely begin the season as the first choice partner for Astori, giving Fiorentina an advantage in depth.
Pezzella along with fellow new guy Giovanni Simeone are products of the River Plate youth academy. They played together for Los Millonarios between 2013 and 2015, winning the Primera Torneo Final and Copa Sudamericana in 2014 under Marcelo Gallardo. In the 2014 Sudamericana final, Pezzella started both legs, scoring the final goal of the tournament as River won 3-1 on aggregate.