Fiorentina Femminile has had a busy Monday, but the big ticket event has been the release of next season’s roster. While it could easily change—the transfer window, after all, remains wide open—you can start to see some trends taking shape in Patrizia Panico’s squad, although most of our questions won’t be answered until we see the team in action.
| RICOMINCIAMO!— ACF Fiorentina Femminile (@ACF_Womens) July 19, 2021
La lista provvisoria* delle Viola che iniziamo la nuova stagione 2021/22!
*per questioni di tesseramento e ulteriori movimenti di mercato#ForzaViola #Fiorentina #SerieAFemminile pic.twitter.com/kAobPDy1o2
What’s most notable is the squad turnover. Gone are stalwarts Stephanie Öhrström, Janni Arnth, Janelle Cordia, Greta Adami, Frederikke Thøgersen, and Lana Clelland. So to are Louise Quinn and Tessel Middag. In fact, Alice Tortelli, Valery Vigilucci, and Stephanie Breitner are the only players who return from the 2nd-place team 2 years ago; 16% of the squad can remember challenging Juventus for supremacy, while the rest of the players are new or suffered through last season’s injury-marred campaign.
Both Adami and Thøgersen announced their departures this morning; Greta, last year’s captain, has been with the club since 2011 and posted an emotional farewell on Instagram. Fred joined in 2019 but quickly became a fan favorite for her pace, dynamism, and pinpoint crossing down the right; her farewell was a bit more terse. Both are talented, versatile, professional, and experienced internationals. Clearly, the Viola brass have decided to clean house.
That said, the cabinet isn’t entirely bare. Getting Tortelli and Marta Mascarello back from injury could offer a massive boost. New signings Federica Cafferata, Francesca Vitale, Sarah Huchet, and Martina Martinovic should all offer Panico some interesting options, and could all wind up as starters right out of the gate.
Panico deployed a 4-3-1-2 formation during her stint as U16 manager, and the current squad looks pretty well built for that. In Cafferata and Martina Zanoli, the Viola have a pair of superb young attacking fullbacks who can provide width. Breitner and Neto can provide solidity in midfield while also offering a good range of passing and dynamic ball-carrying, respectively, while Huchet and Mascarello can both operate either as the trequartista or in a slightly deeper role. Up front, Daniela Sabatino will work with either Martina Piemonte or Martinovic; both are good at linking play and doing typical prima punta dirty work, but Martinovic is more of a poacher while Piemonte likes to drift wide.
With so much turnover to the roster, it could take a little while for everyone to get on the same page, especially with excellent clubhouse culture that Antonio Cincotta created now a thing of the distant past. Panico will have her hands full getting her charges acclimated to each other and to her tactics before the season opens on 29 August 2021.