In a move that we’ve been expecting since, well, since the window opened, Fiorentina have officially sold Luca Lezzerini to Serie B outfit Avellino. Nobody’s reported the fee involved yet, but it can’t be for more than a couple hundred thousand euros. The move opens up space for fellow youngsters Marco Sportiello and Bartłomiej Drągowski to step up into the senior side more often, and gives Lezzerini a chance to start week in and week out.
The 22-year-old Lezzerini signed a schoolboy contract with the Viola back in 2009, eschewing the clubs in his native Rome, and has been with them ever since. He looked a very promising prospect, but his development slowed down a bit in recent years and he was eclipsed by younger academy stars like Giacomo Satalino and Artem Makarov as the next big thing.
Vincenzo Montella called him into the senior side in 2014, but the youngster remained solidly lodged behind Neto and Ciprian Tătăruşanu in the pecking order and never made it off the bench. The following season, he earned his first Serie A appearance when Paulo Sousa brought him on for the final 20 minutes of a blowout against Frosinone, although Lezze did manage to ship a late goal. He then started the final (and meaningless) match of the season against Lazio, which Fiorentina won 2-4 in Rome.
After a brief saga in which the youngster was looking for more regular playing time, he agreed to stay in Florence as the number two for another year. It all went south, though, when his blunder against PAOK in the Europa League gave the Greeks an easy goal and win in the group stages. Luca didn’t make another start for the team, and when Corvino snapped up Atalanta outcast Sportiello in January, it was clearly the end of the line for Lezzerini. He was loaned to Avellino shortly after.
His stay in Campania didn’t work out either, as he made just one appearance for the Irpini after failing to surpass Atalanta loanee Boris Radunović. However, he must have demonstrated enough in training that Walter Novellino wanted him back; it’s worth mentioning that Avellino have public admirers for years. With Radunović out of the way, Luca should be first choice between the sticks.
He’ll wrap up his Fiorentina career with 4 appearances, in which he conceded 6 goals and kept 1 clean sheet. It’s a bit of a letdown for a player whom we thought would reach much greater heights, but it’s in everybody’s best interests that he head for pastures new now. He was always a model professional, never questioning management and accepting a smaller role than he’d have liked, so we wish him nothing but success.