This is quite a new look for the Fiorentina transfer campaign. Following the quick-fire acquisition of Vitor Hugo from Palmeiras, we’ve just gotten word that the Viola have agreed to personal terms with Vitória Guimarães rightback Bruno Gaspar. A deal with the Lisbon outfit for a fee believed to be in the neighborhood of €3 million should follow shortly, as all parties involved seem keen.
Three mil looks like it could be a steal for a 24-year-old who’s just entering into his prime. After coming up through the Benfica academy and the Portugal youth international set-up, he moved to his current club in 2015 after Benfica declined to renew his contract. In the 2 years since, he’s made 93 appearances for Vitoria, notching 9 assists, 24 yellow cards, and one red card.
More than his statistics, though, it’s the type of player he is that should get the Gigliati excited. Unlike the clunkier options of Nenad Tomović, Carlos Sánchez, and Carlos Salcedo, Gaspar has pace to burn. Every bit the modern fullback—and yes, that means he sometimes plays way too high up the pitch—his game is all about overloading the opposition defense, sometimes to the point of playing as a winger rather than a defender. Yes, sometimes he gets caught out of position, but he offers enough going forward to more than balance out his occasional lapses tracking back.
And, again, this is a 24-year-old former Portuguese youth international who came through the Benfica system, which is pretty darn good. The worst-case scenario is that he’ll form a platoon with the likes of Tomović. More likely is that he’ll take over that rightback spot and offer the forward running that we haven’t seen in purple since the days of Tomáš Ujfaluši. This is the sort of low-risk, high-reward gamble that winning teams regularly make, and it’s great to see Fiorentina doing things like this again. Assuming the deal goes through (and all indications are that it will some time this week), we here at Viola Nation Towers are pretty chuffed.