Now having played their first two friendlies of the season, Fiorentina is starting to get down to the nitty-gritty of the preseason camp at Moena, and it’s high time that Stefano Pioli selected a captain. He’s responded by bestowing the armband on Davide Astori, which certainly seems like the correct decision.
Astori arrived in Florence in 2015 on loan from Cagliari, following an uneven year with AS Roma. We expected him to fill the Stefan Savić shaped hole in defense next to Gonzalo Rodríguez, and Davide immediately set about doing just that. Next to the all-action Gonzalo, Davide’s coolness and anticipation (along with his accurate long passing) created one of the better partnerships in Italy.
Although he’s only been with the team for 2 years, he’s still one of the more senior players in the side, both in terms of age (he’ll turn 31 this year) and talent (13 caps for Italy, which is pretty dang impressive considering the generation of defenders he’s been born into). More than that, though, he’s always seemed like a leader in the dressing room; against Borussia Monchengladbach, for example, cameras caught him exhorting his teammates in the tunnel before the second match. He also served as Cagliari’s captain for a season, which makes him an even more natural fit.
He’s the natural heir to the armband and should provide a good, steadying presence as a leader within the squad. Matías Vecino is expected to be the vice-captain, with Nenad Tomović reprising his role as the alternate. So let us officially go on the record as congratulating Astori on the captaincy, praising Pioli for handing the armband to the right man, and pleading with Corvino that the new captain doesn’t suffer the same fate as his predecessors.