Ever since bringing in Jonathon Ikone and Krzysztof Piątek in the first week of January, Fiorentina’s winter mercato has been quiet. This is to be expected, as the squad is in the middle of a fight for Europe, and the two biggest holes on the roster have already been filled.
Still, Fiorentina’s midfield having 8 first-team players has always been too much for just three spots, and it was a near certainty that one or two would leave this window in order to boost their playing time and value.
The first of those to leave was made official last Friday, as Marco Benassi completed a loan move in Empoli for the rest of the season.
The move is just for the rest of the season. While I’ll give Benassi plaudits for filling in at right-back against Inter this season, that remains his only start of the campaign and his only memorable moment. With the quality available in Fiorentina’s midfield, it’s no surprise he didn’t get many opportunities. What’s most perplexing is why Daniele Pradè re-signed Benassi to a contract extension this summer. Getting Benassi off the books this summer would have made a lot of sense, but now I fear two or three more loan moves like this one are on the horizon.
He’s going to an Empoli squad that could use the depth in midfield. I could even see Aurelio Andreazzoli slotting him in as an inside forward in his 4-3-2-1 which the Azzurri sometimes play, allowing Marco to drift around without having to worry about his workrate as much. Regardless, expect him back in Firenze this summer, and a similar article to this one being written a year from now.
Perhaps more interesting is the future of Sofyan Amrabat. The Moroccan is currently in Cameroon for AFCON, and it seems certain his return flight will not be to Firenze. While a mid-tier Serie A club like Sampdoria or Torino makes the most sense for a loan move, Fabrizio Romano reported yesterday (followed by a host of other outlets) that Tottenham Hotspur is interested in signing him.
Tottenham are considering options to replace Tanguy Ndombele if he joins PSG on loan. Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat is one of the players in the list. ⚪️ #THFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 23, 2022
Nothing decided or agreed yet. Many candidates, Spurs will decide this week. @MatteMoretto @SkySport
While Amrabat has not lived up to his club-record fee status in 18 months with the Viola, there’s still a talented player there that needs a change of scenery to be at his best. Why that club would be Spurs, however, I’m not quite sure. Even at his best, Amrabat does not have the ball-carrying ability necessary to thrive under Antonio Conte, but perhaps Conte and Fabio Paratici believe that Amrabat’s work rate will be enough to compensate for his lack of technical ability. Still, this seems like Tottenham surveying the waters, as Amrabat would likely be available on a low-cost loan deal for the rest of the season. Then, Spurs can go splash money on bigger targets in the summer. Anyhow, it’s hard to see Amrabat having a future in Viola, and I’d take anything over €10 million for him at this stage.