With all due respect to Nikola Milenković, who’s been brilliant as a makeshift fullback, his future is almost certainly in the middle. That leaves a glaring hole at rightback, where Vincent Laurini is at most an acceptable stopgap. Kevin Diks clearly hasn’t earned the management’s trust, and Lorenzo Venuti was even further down the pecking order before being loaned to Lecce. The right side of defense remains a sore spot in the lineup, as it has for more than a decade, so it’s easy to see why Pantaleo Corvino would be interested in finding a long-term solution.
With all due respect, though, it’s hard to see Empoli’s Giovanni di Lorenzo as that solution, as Alfredo Pedullà (among others) reports. The 25-year-old has been one of the few bright-ish spots for Fiorentina’s Tuscan neighbors this year, but this is his first campaign in the top flight. It’s hard to imagine that he’d be an upgrade on Laurini, who he rather replaced at Empoli.
Di Lorenzo’s a Tuscan—born in Castelnovo di Garfagnana, about 50 km from Lucca—and played with Lucchese as a kid, but made his breakthrough with Cuneo in Serie C back in 2012. The former U21 international was a consistently solid performer in the third tier until last year, when Empoli snapped him up for €600,000 and gave him a chance in Serie B, where he was a big part of their promotion push, notching a goal and 7 assists in 36 appearances. So far this year in Serie A, he’s been okay as well, managing an assist in his 8 appearances thus far.
As you can see from the attacking numbers, he’s very much a forward-thinking player. While he’s not the fastest, he’s tireless on the overlap due to a powerful motor and swings in a good cross. His defending is adequate, as he’s tough in the tackle, but his positioning is a bit off sometimes and he’s often forced into fouls to stop opponents taking advantage.
This feels like the media flinging things at the wall and hoping they stick. While di Lorenso’s agent certainly has plenty of experience working with Fiorentina—he represents Cristiano Biraghi and Laurini, as well as Luigi Sepe—there’s no real reason for Fiorentina to make an offer for a guy that the Azzurri just signed this summer through 2022. While he’s not a bad player by any stretch, he’s probably not enough of an upgrade over the current stable of rightbacks to justify the energy and money (think somewhere around €3 million) it’d take to bring him aboard.