After several days of speculation, the transfer of Bruno Gaspar from Vitória Guimarães to Fiorentina has been made official. The deal is believed to be worth somewhere between €3 and 4 million, once all the incentives are figured in.
The former Benfica man fills a major—perhaps even the most pressing—void in the Viola squad. After seeing centerback Carlos Salcedo, midfielder Carlos Sánchez, and guy who is definitely a real professional footballer Nenad Tomović fill in on the flank this past season, the tifosi will get to watch their first real fullback operate on that side since, well, maybe since Lorenzo de Silvestri left town.
Gaspar is noted for his pace and his attacking instincts. He’s very much a modern fullback, which means he never misses an opportunity to raid forward and stretch the opposition defense. He makes his living on the overlap, often lurking on the shoulder of the last man and darting in behind before hitting a low cross through the box.
It’s likely that the increased quality of Serie A will test his defensive nous, at least initially, but a one-time Portuguese youth international (they produce wide players like nobody’s business, so that’s nothing to scoff at) should adapt just fine with a little bit of help.
He’ll join new signing Vitor Hugo as part of a new-look backline, which could feature a host of fresh faces. While he’s hardly a world-beater at this point, he’s the sort of thrifty, under-the-radar signing that successful clubs need to regularly unearth if they want to advance above their stations, and he could wind up being a very good player if he fulfills his potential.