Reports today state that Fiorentina have agreed to terms with Spartak Moscow to sign Tino Costa, although the terms are not yet out. Costa, currently on loan at Genoa, has recently missed time due to a calf injury, and has been identified by Fiorentina as an affordable emergency replacement to the vital Milan Badelj, who is out at least for a month.
The 31 year old Costa is a left footed central midfielder known for his free kicks and passing. He started his career in the Guadeloupe Division d'Honneur, the top division in the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe, before moving to Europe to play for Montpellier and then Valencia, where he was most famous for his free kick skills. Costa moved to Spartak Moscow in 2013, where after a solid first season, a series of injuries lead to him being loaned to Genoa in winter 2015. His year in Serie A has been up and down, and his appearances have been limited by frequent injuries.
On paper Costa makes sense as a temporary, budget friendly replacement for Badelj. Like the Croatian, Costa can play throughout the midfield but is best as a deep lying playmaker who keeps tempo with his accurate passing, and if anything would be one of the best free kick takers on the Viola. He's slow, as is Badelj, but his physical frailty is a bigger concern.
Fans have cynically already started calling Costa the "new Ficini" a reference to Fabrizio Ficini, an Italian midfielder who underwhelmed after being signed by league leading Fiorentina in the winter of 1999 as an emergency injury replacement.