Apparently Fiorentina is serious about getting their work done early this season rather than waiting until the last minute. Football Italia claims that Palmeiras centerback Vitor Hugo has joined the Viola for a fee believed to be around €8 million, as confirmed by Palmeiras boss Cuca in a recent press conference. The player himself will be flying to Florence next week for a medical, but everything else is wrapped up.
The 26-year-old Brazilian centerback is an obvious replacement for the outgoing Gonzalo Rodríguez. A gritty, no-nonsense defender, he should endear himself quickly to the Viola faithful with his all-action displays at the back. Just as important, he should mesh well with the more measured style of Davide Astori.
Blessed with a strapping physique at 6’2 (187 cm) and surprisingly fleet of foot, Vitor Hugo shouldn’t have too much trouble transitioning from one Serie A to the other. Having turned 26 just 10 days ago, he’s a bit of a late bloomer; he first broke through with América Futebol Clube in the second division back in 2012 and didn’t move to the top tier until Palmeiras came calling in 2014. He’s yet to appear for the Seleção, but rumor is that he may get a call soon.
Either way, though, it’s very exciting that Fiorentina have secured the signature of a talented young player this early in the transfer window, given their recent track record of waiting until the last possible instant. Whether Vitor Hugo becomes a Viola legend remains to be seen, but he’ll have every chance to build chemistry with his new mates and establish himself as a starter from matchday 1, and that’s a victory for the Gigliati in and of itself. Welcome, Vitor Hugo!