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Where in the World is Riccardo Saponara?

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Technically he is on the Fiorentina roster.

ACF Fiorentina v UC Sampdoria - Tim Cup
So graceful
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

If you did not read the title like the theme song from the show “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” I will be very disappointed. If you do not know what that is, please take the next 2 minutes and 34 seconds to listen to this song.

Now that that is out of the way, aren’t you glad I introduced this into your life?

Back to the topic at hand, there is a attacking midfielder that has barely seen the field this season in Florence. Yes that is Riccardo Saponara. At one point Riccardo Saponara was considered to be the heir apparent to Kaka in Milan. People were comparing his playmaking ability to the former Brazilian star. Now at the age of 26, Saponara can barely get on the field with a 9th place Fiorentina.

Some may be wondering why the Italian midfielder has been missing in action? Well the short answer is Manager Stefano Pioli does not want to play him. The longer answer is there may still be some affects from earlier injuries in the season. Saponara suffered from a knee injury over the summer that slowed his progress with the team. Then he had a foot injury in October that kept him out of a few games. By all accounts Saponara is healthy again and should be able to play.

It is possible that the play of Milan Badelj, Marco Benassi, and Jordan Veretout has essentially made Saponara expendable. In Serie A matches this season, Saponara has only been on the pitch four times and they were all as a substitute. He did start in the two Copa Italia matches and even made an appearance for the Primavera squad. This does not go well for the young midfielder.

At the end of the day, Milan Badelj may still be on the way out the door, which could open up a spot for Saponara to get more playing time. Until that happens he will have to make an impact on the practice field and any chances he gets in games. Saponara is a talented player, but is not getting any younger. At 26 years old he has plenty of good football left in the tank. The question is can he put it all together to make an impact for Fiorentina?