Well, the dust has settled on another January mercato. This was a bit of a strange one, as all of the action occurred in the final week, leaving us scrambling to keep up after staring slack-jawed for most of January. Here’s a quick review of the ins and outs.
Bryan Dabo (Saint-Étienne)—€4.5 million
Diego Falcinelli (Sassuolo)—6 month loan
Dušan Vlahović (Partizan)—€1.5 million
Khouma Babacar (Sassuolo)—6 month loan with obligatory option of €10 million
Carlos Sánchez (Espanyol)—6 month loan
Ianis Hagi (Viitorul Constanța)—€2 million
Jan Mlakar (Maribor)—free
The biggest deal is obviously Babacar. Sending him to a direct rival for what sure looks like a discount seems like a mistake, particularly with Giovanni Simeone struggling to find the back of the net and no real options at striker behind him except for Cyril Théréau. Falcinelli, for all his 14 goals with Crotone a couple years ago, doesn’t seem like a long- or even short-term answer.
Dabo for Sánchez seems to be a like-for-like swap that will make the team younger; Davide Astori and Théréau are the only players over the age of 30 now.
Vlahović has joined the Primavera after Fiorentina paid for him this summer then left him at Partizan for the first half of the season. He’s a large and promising striker, but definitely needs to develop more before he’s ready for the senior side.
The Viola will get 50% of any future transfer fees paid for Mlakar, who joins hometown side Maribor.
Hagi has rejoined his old club in Romania in search of playing time. Both he and his dad very fairly wondered why he wasn’t seeing any minutes after Stefano Pioli promised him he’d be in the mix this year.
Now for the deals that didn’t happen. Much to everyone’s surprise, Milan Badelj is still here. Many of us expected that he’d be sold abroad in this window, but apparently he’s happy enough to keep on working in Florence. Sebastian Cristoforo and Maxi Olivera both had offers that the club entertained (notably from Cagliari), but neither player wanted to relocate and so they both stayed put.