Early today, Fiorentina released the list of players traveling to Moena for preseason training later this month. This is far from the roster next season, but should give us an idea of who’s around. While there are some conspicuous absences, most of them are due to players’ international commitments and will be rectified after the lads have had a little bit of a holiday. Also, expect a few changes in the personnel here, as there should be a few additions to the squad as well as some departures.
GK Niccolò Chiorra—18 years old, Primavera
GK Bartłomiej Drągowski—21 years old, Fiorentina/Empoli
GK Alex Nannelli—17 years old, U17
Expect this list to change soon. Empoli’s Pietro Terracciano could reprise his role as the Viola backup, and Bart could leave, opening the door for someone like Mattia Perin or Emiliano Viviano. The absences of Michele Cerofolini and Simone Ghidotti from the squad could mean that they’re heading elsewhere on loan. I have no idea why Nannelli got the call ahead of Federico Brancolini, who seemed to be ahead of him in the hierarchy, but he bears watching.
CB Riccardo Baroni—20 years old, Virtus Entella
CB Federico Ceccherini—27 years old, Fiorentina
CB Petko Hristov—20 years old, Ternana
CB Vitor Hugo—28 years old, Fiorentina
LB Cristiano Biraghi—26 years old, Fiorentina
LB David Hancko—21 years old, Fiorentina
LB Luca Ranieri—20 years old, Foggia
RB Edoardo Pierozzi—17 years old, Primavera
RB Lorenzo Venuti—24 years old, Lecce
Germán Pezzella and Nikola Milenković will join the squad later; they both deserve some vacation time after their international efforts this summer. Keep an eye on Pierozzi, who impressed with the Primavera this season despite his tender years; he’s likely to be a big part of the kids’ success this year. New signing Aleksa Terzić, formerly of Crvena zvezda, is probably getting his move to Italy sorted out and should join the team later as well. That could be the case for Jacob Rasmussen, formerly of Empoli, as well, but it’s not like he’s got far to move. Finally, the absence of Vincent Laurini seems a pretty clear indication that he’s on the outs, with Parma usually considered his eventual destination.
CM Nicky Beloko—19 years old, Fiorentina/Primavera
CM Marco Benassi—24 years old, Fiorentina
CM Gaetano Castrovilli—22 years old, Cremonese
CM Sebastian Cristoforo—25 years old, Getafe
CM Bryan Dabo—27 years old, Fiorentina
CM Erald Lakti—19 years old, Primavera
CM Marco Meli—19 years old, Primavera
CM Jordan Veretout—26 years old, Fiorentina
AM Tòfol Montiel—19 years old, Fiorentina/Primavera
AM Riccardo Saponara—27 years old, Sampdoria
Veretout is on his way out and has requested to skip Moena, although he won’t refuse to show up, per his agent. If everyone knows the player’s leaving, it makes no sense to bring him along and get everyone accustomed to working with him. Hopefully, this is just a transfer ploy and he’ll have moved on to everybody’s satisfaction before the team leaves.
Without him, the midfield is very thin. It’ll be interesting to watch Castrovilli and Montiel, both players who have all the technical ability to shine under Montella, but it’d be asking an awful lot of them to carry the creative burden in their first Serie A seasons. The former could stay as a reserve and the latter may well end up on loan in Serie B or the lower reaches of Serie A. Saponara is in the same boat, but due to his age and wages, he’s a likely departure, possibly to SPAL.
The notable absence is Szymon Żurkowski, who should link up with his new mates shortly after wrapping up his break; he was also at the U21 Euros. Andrés Schetino, Amidu Salifu, and Andy Bangu are missing too, although they’re all likely to head out on loan or have their contracts terminated. I was really hoping to see Primavera star Marko Hanuljak, but it doesn’t seem like he’s made the grade and will continue to train with his fellow youths.
LW Jaime Báez—24 years old, Cosenza
LW Valentin Eysseric—27 years old, Fiorentina/Nantes
LW Riccardo Sottil—20 years old, Fiorentina/Pescara
RW Christian Koffi—18 years old, Primavera
ST Giovanni Simeone—24 years old (happy birthday, Cholito!), Fiorentina
ST Cyril Théréau—36 years old, Fiorentina/Cagliari
ST Dušan Vlahović—19 years old, Fiorentina/Primavera
Federico Chiesa is the obvious absence as he recovers from his tour with the U21s, but he should be back eventually, especially since Rocco Commisso has publicly said that he’s going to meet with him in person once he’s finished with his holiday. Gabriele Gori is also taking a break following a spell with the U20s and will be around shortly as well.
Martin Graiciar and Rafik Zekhnini are probably playing elsewhere next season on loan, so it’s not too surprising that they haven’t been tapped. I’m sorry that Josip Maganjić, who’s showcased versatility and glimpses of talent for the Primavera, hasn’t gotten a call, as he’s the sort of player who could break out at Moena like Sottil did last year. Sottil, by the way, may leave early on a loan to Pescara, and Eysseric and Théréau are likely among the dead wood discussed by Daniele Pradè recently. Vlahović, on the other hand, has been discussed as a possible loanee to a bottom-tier Serie A side to give management a full season to evaluate him in action and determine if he’s part of the plans for the long term.