After at least two months of speculation, obfuscation, and frustration, we can finally report that Valentin Eysseric is officially a Fiorentina player. The 25-year-old Frenchman, who can play on the wing or as a number 10, arrived in Florence for his medical early this morning and then signed the requisite paperwork for the transfer shortly after. The fee is reported to be around €3.5 million, plus future potential bonuses.
While he’s not a prolific goalscorer, Eysseric is a slippery dribbler, clever passer, and all-around creative force. Last season for Nice, he tallied 4 goals and 8 assists in 33 appearances. He also put Mario Balotelli on blast in February, accusing the striker of lacking the camaraderie with the rest of the squad. With all the leadership that the Viola dressing room has lost this summer, it’ll be interesting to see how he gels with his new mates.
As his preferred 13 is already being worn by captain Davide Astori, he’ll need to find a new jersey number as well. With 7, 8 (maybe reserved for a returning Stevan Jovetić?), 10, and 11 all available, though, he’ll get his pick of the primo digits, although Rafik Zekhnini’s also been tapped for 11 and newly-signed Marco Benassi is also an option for 7.
The move almost certainly pushes Zekhnini to a bench role, which is probably best for everyone involved. An attacking band of Eysseric, Riccardo Saponara, and Federico Chiesa looks pretty solid, especially with Matías Fernández, Zekhnini, and Ianis Hagi available as depth.
All in all, we’re pretty pleased with the move. He’s a good player who should be in or entering his prime, he’s a proven producer in a top European league, he fills a position which was perhaps the greatest need on the roster, and he’s reasonably inexpensive. The move also frees up Pantaleo Corvino to sign several more players to fill some notable holes in the squad, so expect a flurry of signings over the next few weeks.