The warning signs have been there all summer for anyone who was watching: the early search for another club, Paulo Sousa's reticence to rely on him, a crowded striking platoon, the interest from various teams in Spain. And now, we've gotten the official news that Giuseppe Rossi has been sold to Celta Vigo, bringing an end to an up-and-down three years with Fiorentina.
After Pepito arrived from Villarreal back in 2013 for €10 million, no one was sure that he'd ever recover the form that catapulted him into the international spotlight with the Yellow Submarine (as an aside, those Villarreal teams were so fun to watch, with Rossi and Nilmar up top, Borja Valero and Santi Cazorla flooding the center of the pitch from the wings, and Joan Capdevila bombing up the flank). Recover he did, though, and looked like a truly world-class forward for much of 2013, most notably with his hat trick to earn a 4-2 comeback win against Juventus at the Artemio Franchi. But his knee gave out again the following year, and after more than a year spent trying to get back, he never looked the same again, even when he left for Levante on loan. No longer instinctive and lethal, he'd become tentative, timid, and played as if he was worried that his knees would give out at any moment.
It's no real surprise, then, that he's been sold to Celta Vigo, where he'll join what's starting to look like a real surprise package in La Liga. He'll be reunited with old pal Facundo Roncaglia, which is probably a frightening proposition in training, and will compete with Iago Aspas and John Guidetti for minutes up top. His final statistics with Fiorentina are just 42 appearances, but with an impressive 19 goals and 8 assists. And that 4-2.
We still don't know the details of the deal, but it is officially a sale, not a loan, and spells the end for Beppo in purple. While he may not deserve a spot in the pantheon of great Fiorentina strikers of the past decade--Adrian Mutu, Luca Toni, Alberto Gilardino, Stevan Jovetic--he'll always have a spot in the hearts of Viola fans, and will leave forever the broken promise of what he could have been if only his body hadn't betrayed him. Farewell, Giuseppe, and may you become what you should have always wanted to be and should have been.