With all of the kerfuffle surrounding Milan Badelj and Matías Vecino, as well as the injury to Matías Fernández, the midfield cupboard suddenly looks rather bare. No surprise, then, that Fiorentina has been linked to a host of midfielders both heralded and, er, otherwise. Clube Atlético Paranaense's Hernani Azevedo Júnior, better known as Hernani, fits into this second category. The 22 year old has already made 51 appearances for the Furacão, scoring 5 goals, notching an assist, and picking up a rather distressing 11 yellow cards and a red. And, if nearly every media outlet in Italy is to be believed, he's Pantaleo Corvino's top option to reinforce the midfield right now.
Standing at a robust 188 cm (6'2 for those of us on the imperial system), he possesses the robust build you'd expect from a tough-tackling Brazilian enforcer. He's not just a destroyer, though, as his passing is reliable enough in possession, and occasionally features an incisive long ball as well. Often cast as a pure defensive midfielder, he's fairly useful going forward, too, and likes having a pop from distance. At the risk of making a lazy comparison (which has never before stopped us here at Viola Nation), he looks a little bit like a younger Felipe Melo.
His Transfermarkt profile lists his price at €1.75, but since they tend to shoot well under realistic values, the figure of €3 million quoted in La Nazione seems more realistic. He probably wouldn't be ready to start right away, and indeed would probably need some time out on loan, but looks like the sort of cheap young player who frequently turns out to be pretty dang good. Basically, he's a Corvino special.