Following a horror show from Nenad Tomović in the season opener against Inter Milan and another against Sampdoria this past Sunday, it always seemed like Fiorentina needed a new rightback. Bruno Gaspar obviously hasn’t impressed Stefano Pioli enough to unseat the incumbent, which is a troubling sign, so Pantaleo Corvino has looked outside the club. Not too far outside, though, as he’s raided fellow Tuscan outfit Empoli for Vincent Laurini for €1.6 million.
As a loan with an obligation to buy, it’s not the world’s flashiest move. It could go a long way towards shoring up the right flank, though, and we fully expect the 27-year-old Frenchman to outplay his modest price tag. He’s got good pace and agility to go with his sound defensive instincts and tackling. He’s also very much a modern fullback who overlaps and contributes going forward.
Corvino grabbed him at a discount due to an injury-marred season last time out that still saw him start 24 matches for Empoli, where he’d played since joining from Carpi in 2012. His contract will run until 2020, with a club option for another year. He’ll leave the Azzurri with 144 appearances under his belt, tallying 1 goal, 3 assists, 26 yellow cards, and 4 red cards. While it may be a little while before he makes an appearance in the Viola backline—there’s enough chaos back there already—he’s a proven Serie A performer and could be an acceptable solution for what’s historically been a problem spot.