A rock solid three weeks’ worth of results may cloud the desperate need of quality that Fiorentina has for forwards who can make things happen, but let’s not lie to ourselves: this team still lives and dies with Federico Chiesa. It’s no surprise, then, that the Viola would be looking at game-breaking attacker’s in January. But the much-publicized links to Southampton outcast Manolo Gabbiadini are still a bit much.
Look, Gabbiadini van hit some brilliant goals, and no one can take that away from him. But he’s not exactly consistent; indeed, his best scoring total is 8 from 20 matches at Napoli back in the 224-2015 season. As a wife forward who delights in cutting infield from the right to shoot from distance, he could add a lethal dimension to a well-balanced side. That ain’t Fiorentina right now.
Saints have explicitly offered Gabbiadini, the club’s highest earner, the exit door, and Fiorentina and Bologna have been the most popular destinations, according to internet punditry. Besides the issue of his wage—at 4.6 million, it’s more than twice Federico Chiesa, who’s the top Viola earner—there’s the question of fit: Gabbiadini isn’t really a hard-running, hard pressing dynamo. In a lot of ways, he’s similar to Marko Pjaca, whose struggles in Florence are well documented. Really, the closest link outside of online speculation is that Gabbiadini shares an agent with several current or former Fiorentina players, and Corvino has a knack for building relationships with agents that lead to multiple clients joining his sides.
It’s a sad result for a player that many thought would become a genuine superstar: an outcast on his own team, playing just 470 minutes this year and scoring a single goal. While he certainly needs a change to get his career back on track, it’s hard to think that Fiorentina would offer him what he needs at the moment. As much fun as it would be to see him banging in long-range strikes in purple, the fit and the money don’t seem right at the moment for anyone involved.