Over the past two weeks, we've been hearing rumors that Leonardo Capezzi, once hailed by David Pizarro as his heir at the base of the Fiorentina midfield, wouldn't be returning to Florence. First it was a matter of him needing one more year on loan before he was ready for the big time, but then the whispers began that the Viola weren't going to redeem him from Crotone, a rumor which an announcement from Crotone DS Giuseppe Ursino yesterday confirmed. It's a turn of events that has left a lot of the Viola faithful scratching their heads.
Capezzi certainly looks like a promising young player. A U21 international mainstay, he's a technically sound central midfielder who likes to pull the strings from deep, rather than motor forward and work around the edge of the box. While the defensive side of his game leaves room for improvement (which is hardly surprising for a 21 year old), his passing range and composure on the ball marked him out as, at minimum, a useful squad player for years to come and maybe even a locally-grown star.
Loaned to Crotone at the start of last year, young Capezzi impressed from the word go. He made 32 appearances (27 starts) for the Sqali, notching 2 goals, 2 assists, 8 yellow cards, and a red card. In former Pitagorici boss (and current Genoa coach) Ivan Jurić's high-energy system, he had a chance to motor forward a bit more often, looking less like Pek and more like a young Alberto Aquilani. He was a key component of Crotone's first-ever promotion to Serie A, and was expected to return to Fiorentina and compete for a role under Pauolo Sousa.
Instead, Fiorentina declined to bring him back from his loan at Crotone, getting back a paltry €400,000 for a player whom Transfermarkt rates at €1.3 million. It's awfully deflating for a number of reasons. Pantaleo Corvino letting a talented, young, and homegrown player slip away for peanuts is really frustrating, especially with the looming requirements about academy-raised players. Capezzi may not ever be a full-fledged star, but he looks like he'll at least be a useful player; Sassuolo may make an offer for him already, which would twist the knife even more. And he's Florentine (okay, from Figline Valdarno, but still), so he could have been a local legend. With the central midfield cupboard looking bare, he was the most obvious and economical solution. This is basically the most frustrating outcome for the whole situation, and it's hard to see the reasoning behind letting your promising young players walk.