According to CalcioMercato, a Fiorentina delegation has opened discussions with Sassuolo manager Roberto De Zerbi about taking over in Florence next year. De Zerbi, 40, is out of a contract with the Neroverdi at season’s end and is seen as one of Italy’s best young coaches; pairing him with one of the nation’s most intriguing young squads would be a Football Manager dream come true.
The former Foggia, Palermo, and Benevento boss looks like a very good fit for the current personnel and strategy that owner Rocco Commisso and lieutenants Joe Barone and Daniele Pradè have assembled. His teams require a good amount of technical ability—which the Viola possess in spades—largely because his philosophy is a very forward-minded one, emphasizing the sort of quick vertical play that we haven’t seen in Florence since the days of San Cesare Prandelli.
It’s early days yet and there’s certainly no accord in place right now, but De Zerbi has been tapped for a move up from Sassuolo for awhile, so this may be the right moment. It’s also worth noting that he shares an agent with Alberto Aquilani and Kevin-Prince Boateng, so the Viola connections are in place already.
Do spare a thought for Giuseppe Iachini, who’s done a fine job of steadying the Viola ship and instilling the discipline and desire that any team needs to succeed following a catastrophic return from Vincenzo Montella. While Beppe’s been criticized for his very basic, predictable tactics at times, he’s been just what the doctor ordered and deserves a lot of credit for his work this year. It must be bittersweet for him to be inching towards the exit already at the club where he spent the bulk of his playing career.
Again, this is not a done deal by any stretch. De Zerbi is surely very busy with getting his team ready for the resumption of league play—they travel to Atalanta in the opener—and may want to put off any talk about a move for as long as possible, especially as it could only distract his charges. Still, though, if this report winds up being true, Fiorentina could do (and has done) a lot worse than De Zerbi, and maybe couldn’t do very much better.
We’ll obviously follow up on this with some more substantial analysis if there seems to be any fire to the smoke, but what grade would you give the club for hiring De Zerbi?
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