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Fiorentina season review: Goalkeepers

With just two custodians to grade, this one shouldn’t take us very long.

ACF Fiorentina v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Marco Sportiello

Recap: After 2 years of Ciprian Tătăruşanu, Sportiello was handed the reins in the Viola goal. His first match was not exactly a positive (0-3 at Inter Milan), but at least he wasn’t a substantial downgrade from the Romanian. As he settled in, he put on some excellent displays early in the season—the 1-1 against Atalanta was really impressive—but he began showing an aptitude for head-scratching blunders with a mad rush off his line against SPAL that probably should have been a penalty. In December, his struggles at set pieces began against Bologna with a mystifying mistake that let Erick Pulgar score directly from a corner. Although he righted the ship during Fiorentina’s historic win streak to look like one of the best goalies in Italy for a couple of months (that performance at AS Roma), his propensity for trouble with free kicks stuck with him for the rest of the year (Federico Bernardeschi and Hakan Çalhanoğlu send their regards). His distribution, which was quite good at the start of the year, also fell off a cliff in the second half.

Stats: 37 appearances, 0 goals, 0 assists, 1 red card, 38 goals allowed, 15 clean sheets, 1 goal allowed every 84.3 minutes, 2.6 saves per 90 minutes

What’s next: We’ve heard rumbles that Viola management have soured on him and won’t pay the €7-ish million to make his stay permanent. We’re not quite sure we believe it’s come to that, but we wouldn’t be shocked if Corvino asked la Dea to knock a couple mil off the price tag. Either way, we should have a much better understanding of what’s going on with him in the next week or so.

Grade: B It’s a lot easier to remember all of the mistakes, but don’t forget that he had some matches where he was the only reason the side got points

Bartłomiej Drągowski

Recap: The 20-year-old Pole finally got his chance to shine a bit this year after making just one start last year. Stefano Pioli opted to make him the Coppa Italia keeper. In the win against Sampdoria, he wasn’t at fault for either goal, but neither did he exude confidence. In the next Coppa fixture, he was beaten a bit too easily by Senad Lulić for the goal that sent Fiorentina crashing out at Lazio but made a couple of strong saves. In Serie A, he came on in relief of Sportiello following the Italian’s sending off against Lazio and was at fault for at least one goal. Coming on in relief of an injured Sportiello against AC Milan, he was simply dreadful. While we ought to take into account how difficult it is to enter a match as a substitute goalkeeper, Bart’s struggles extended well past that point: his positioning is often off, he’s got a habit of punching the ball back into the box, and his body language just seems nervous when he’s between the sticks.

Stats: 5 appearances, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 cards, 11 goals allowed, 0 clean sheets

What’s next: It’s hard to see him staying in Florence next year, especially as he and his father have both agitated for more playing time this year. Whether that manifests as a loan away to a Serie B side (or even back to Poland) or a sale, it sure feels like we’ve seen the last of the Dragon.

Grade: C- Even taking into account his youth and the difficult situations he faced in the league, he needed to be a lot better