While we're well-accustomed to some end-of-August transfer madness in Florence, this is starting to get out of control. Pantaleo Corvino has, out of nowhere, obtained the services of Sevilla's Uruguayan Sebastian Cristoforo on loan for the season in an effort to strengthen the base of the midfield, or maybe just to confuse and intimidate every other sporting director in the world. Either way, we're into it.
Cristoforo, although just 23, broke through the ranks at Peñarol in his home country, making his senior debut aged just 17. The following year, he became an integral part of the club, and helped them win the league in 2012. His performances caught the eye of Sevilla, who paid just €600,000 to bring him across the Atlantic in 2013. He's already made 56 appearances for los Rojiblancos, including 33 appearances (25 starts) across all competitions, accumulating an assist and 7 yellow cards. He's also a former youth team star in the international setup, although he's yet to earn a senior cap; anyone familiar with Oscar Tabarez is not, perhaps, surprised that he's kept a promising youngster frozen out in favor of more established options.
As you might expect from a Uruguayan defensive midfielder, Cristoforo's a tough character. Although he's not particularly tall or strong, he's a dogged and ferocious presence in front of the defense who reads the game well and isn't afraid of a crunching tackle. In possession, he's generally functional rather than imaginative, and possesses the natural inclination to sit back, shielding his defense and breaking counterattacks, rather than motoring forward to join the attack--he's only scored once in his professional career.
While no terms have been disclosed yet, the player's age and quality mean that Sevilla are clearly expecting to recoup some money for this move, probably somewhere in the €7 million range. Fiorentina now seem well-prepared for the increasingly inevitable departure of Milan Badelj, with both Cristoforo and Carlos Sanchez available in the defensive midfield spot. Moreover, this gives the Viola even more midfield depth, which could prove crucial come spring in Serie A and the cup competitions. While we didn't anticipate this move, it looks like another brilliant piece of work from Corvino and should strengthen the squad significantly.