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OFFICIAL: Brighton buy Igor

The Viola get considerably less hench at the back.

ACF Fiorentina Finalists Access Day - UEFA Europa Conference League Final 2022/23 Photo by Tullio Puglia - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

There have been rumors all summer of English interest in Igor, and it’s finally come through. Brighton Hove & Albion have shelled out €17 million for the hulking centerback with the potential for even more if he meets certain performance bonuses. The Brazilian has signed a 4-year contract with the Seagulls.

It’s certainly a good move for him, as he’ll make more in the absurdly wealthy Premier League than he did at Fiorentina. His assurance in possession and line-breaking passing mean that he’s a fantastic fit under Roberto de Zerbi, who’ll recall him from their time in Serie A.

It may be an even better move for Fiorentina, though, who get a massive payday for selling a player who seriously regressed in 2022-2023 after breaking out the season before. While his athleticism and quality on the ball were never in doubt, his lapses in focus and struggles to track high passes left him looking hapless at times, and he eventually lost his spot to academy graduate Luca Ranieri, who was only on the roster because the Viola couldn’t find a loan move for him last summer.

With Ranieri battling the talented but combustible Lucas Martínez Quarta for a berth next to star man Nikola Milenković in the heart of defense, Daniele Pradè may look to bring another centerback into the fold this summer, although the presence of 3 competent-at-worst options takes some of the urgency out of the matter; either a cheap veteran or a youngster is the likeliest target, unless Vincenzo Italiano does something wild like use Cristiano Biraghi in the role.

More importantly, it puts a big chunk of change in Fiorentina’s transfer budget. With the pending sale of Sofyan Amrabat (likely for €35 million) alongside the exits of Aleksa Terzić, Youssef Maleh, Szymon Żurkowski, and Jacob Rasmussen, the Viola will have over €50 million to work with for the rest of the summer.

Despite team owner Rocco Commisso’s billions, that’s very important. Without European competition next year (pending UEFA’s eventual decision about replacing Juventus), this team needs to self-finance its transfer activity after spending so much on the Rocco Commisso Training Center, which apparently ate through much of the profit made from selling Federico Chiesa and Dušan Vlahović.

For now, though, we can bid Igor a fond farewell. He arrived as a complete unknown who was maybe a wingback and departs as the thiccest player in Fiorentina’s recent history. Thanks for everything, big guy, and good luck in England.