A couple of uninspiring displays from Maxi Olivera, coupled with the departure of Hrvoje Milić, have left the cupboard rather bare at leftback. The only option besides the Uruguayan is 18-year-old Luca Ranieri, who’s never played at a level above the Primavera. It therefore seems safe to say that Fiorentina is in the market for a leftback, particularly one who could push Olivera back to a reserve role. Genoa man Diego Laxalt is the latest name to pop up, but we’re awfully skeptical that there’s a lot of truth to the rumors.
Laxalt has played with the Grifoni since 2014, when he joined on loan from Inter Milan, who sold him at the end of the year. Originally touted as a tricky and creative winger, he’s instead developed a reputation as a non-stop, hard-working grinder who can play at fullback, central midfield, or on the wing. In 36 Serie A appearances last term, he scored 1, assisted 4, and was booked 5 times.
Our skepticism has nothing to do with the quality of the player, mind you. Getting called into the Uruguay setup is tough no matter what, but receiving 3 caps from Óscar Tabárez before you’re 35 and “experienced” speaks well of a player. Rather, Fiorentina has gone down this road before. Back in January, the clubs supposedly discussed a deal for him and it came to nothing. More telling, though, is the fee being bandied about for his services: if Fiorentina were unable to pull the trigger on teenage sensation Emre Mor for €15 million, it’s hard to see them spending the same amount on a 24-year-old who’s proven to be a solid, capable, and generally unspectacular performer in Serie A.