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BatiGol Weekly 112: Locomotive

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In which we discuss the mercato, Fiorentina’s long-term health, and the art of doing nothing.

ACF Fiorentina v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A
Keep going, keep going, no focus.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Well, here we are in the heart of the silliest of the seasons. Cristiano Ronaldo is going to Juventus. Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois are leaving Chelsea. Neymar and/or Kylian Mbappe are heading to Real Madrid. Fiorentina, meanwhile, have signed a French U20 international and a Slovenian U21 international.

And that’s okay. After all, we never expected Corvino to announce the signing of a Nabil Fekir or a Karim Benzema out of the blue. This is Fiorentina, so it’s going to be a steady succession of teenagers who either slot in with the Primavera or arrive in Florence for a week before leaving on loan. There may be a couple of big names that materialize towards the end of the window, but Corvino’s modus operandi has never required the type of player that everyone wants to get on the latest edition of FIFA.

Instead, the Viola are stockpiling young talent, as per usual. Marko Pjaca and Mario Pašalić and Domenico Berardi and whoever else you can name are all excellent players and would certainly add something to the team, but splash signing aren’t what this edition of Fiorentina is about. Instead, it’s about creating a diverse and deep youth setup (especially with Serie A teams on the verge of being allowed to field a B-team in Serie B) and waiting for those prospects to come good.

This is the correct trajectory for a club of Fiorentina’s stature; Daniele Pradè’s policy of buying reclamation projects on the cheap worked for as long as Villarreal was being relegated, but was ultimately not very useful for the long-term health of the club. Creating a youth-friendly environment will result in success down the road, in both footballing and financial terms, and that sort of foundation is something the Gigliati have lacked for a long, long time.

But it also means that the transfer season tends to be punishingly slow for fans. Especially as the World Cup keeps players busy until later in the window, it can seem like Corvino is just spinning his wheels. But he’s not. The Crow has plenty of tricks up his sleeve, and odds are that they’ll result in a deeper and more talented squad than we saw last year. Unfortunately, there won’t be any indicators of who exactly will comprise the reinforcements until they arrive in the week or two before the mercato ends, so instead we have to sit around and pretend that we’re not sweating bullets. Because that’s what rational and intelligent fans do: let the hype train roll on out of the station with everyone chasing after it, then calmly wait for the next arrival at the other end of the platform.

Latest news

Bruno Gaspar: sold to Sporting.

Ditto Gil Dias.

Corvino is doing his usual thing. This time, it involves signing Tòfol Montiel, Nicky Medja, and David Hancko. Here is where you can learn a bit more about them.

Alban Lafont is close to joining Fiorentina.

Haha kidding, he’s already here, suckers.

Leganés are interested in Vincent Laurini, but there’s a bit of dickering about his price.

The Viola are working on a deal for Sporting and Argentina regista Rodrigo Battaglia, who might be available at a discount following the indefensible behavior of some of the club’s “fans.”

The media reported that the Mario Pašalić deal was all done and dusted. So of course it’s suddenly gotten a lot more complicated.

Genoa are ready to make a move for Lorenzo Venuti, who is a lot better than he showed last year with Benevento.

Fiorentina just signed a Scotland international and we are very, truly excited. Welcome, Lana Clelland!

We like Genk’s Norwegian international Sander Berge, but the Belgian outfit wants more than the Viola seem willing to offer.

Fiorentina are planning a swoop for the Thomas Chesnel. More details—such as who the heck Thomas Chesnel is—can be found here.

Also, a programming note: after hearing folks here yell about too many stories, we’ve got a new policy: we’ll leave the BatiGol Weekly pinned near the top of the page as a discussion thread for whatever’s on your mind through the week, then leave the Friday Poll for the same purpose over the weekends. Act accordingly.

Must read

Ante Rebić is officially off the Fiorentina books, but that doesn’t mean the club can’t profit from his impressive World Cup showing.

We wondered what it would take for yall to swap Federico Chiesa to Inter Milan. Turns out that Ivan Perišić + cash isn’t enough for most of you.

Carlos Sánchez is a really wonderful human and, incidentally, and unbelievably talented footballer. Can’t believe that some bellends need a reminder, but we have one.

Apparently not all of us are on the same page about the new Fiorentina unis. Have a look at what the crowd here thinks (black shorts with white writing on the jerseys is never okay, people).

Poll

Which train would Fiorentina be?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    The one from Snowpiercer: aesthetically beautiful, almost brilliant, and ultimately deeply frustrating.
    (7 votes)
  • 22%
    Thomas the Tank Engine: well-meaning and positive but often can’t get out of his own way and gets tricked too easily.
    (7 votes)
  • 19%
    The Darjeeling Limited: dang can Wes Anderson create a beautiful set of images without ever actually making them mean anything.
    (6 votes)
  • 12%
    The Orient Express: Everything seems okay, but actually everyone is involved in something going rather awry.
    (4 votes)
  • 22%
    The Polar Express: AGH WHY IS TOM HANKS A CARTOON NOW
    (7 votes)
31 votes total Vote Now

Comment of the week(ish)

Milan Badelj is leaving Florence on a Bosman, but the Croat’s professionalism and class have been exemplary over the past year. Thank you, baelfire, for reminding us.

That’s it for this week, folks. Throw the buskers some money. They deserve it.