In a bit of good news following the departures of Marco Sportiello and Milan Badelj, Fiorentina announced this morning that they’ve redeemed the loan of Germán Pezzella from Real Betis and have signed the player through 2022. Nobody seems quite sure how much he cost, but it was somewhere between €9 million and €11 million, depending on whether or not he met certain incentives in the initial loan deal.
We’re not going to get hung up on the cash amount, though. Instead, we’re going to focus on the positive, which is that the Viola have secured last season’s best defender. The 26-year-old Argentine made 35 appearances last season and anchored the back line after the death of Davide Astori. During Badelj’s absence, it was Pezzella who stepped in as captain; his lengthy contract means that he could keep the armband in Florence for several years, which would be an improvement over recent events.
The fee, too, is pretty dang good business. Pezzella’s play this year earned him several call-ups to the Argentina squad for World Cup qualifiers; while he ultimately didn’t make the cut, a lot of people think that he deserved a spot. It’s a shame that he’ll miss out, but maybe good for Fiorentina, as it will keep him fresh, rested, and out of the public eye. Atlético Madrid and Zenit St. Petersburg were both nosing around, so it’ll help him to keep a low profile. And, of course, if follows in the well-established Viola tradition of missing out on international duty; just ask Sebstien Frey, Neto, Borja Valero, and Gonzalo Rodríguez.
Long story short, it feels good to have an international-level defender in Florence again, especially one who’ll wear the armband. There’s something undeniably romantic about an Argentine center half in purple and Pezzella should fit right in. Along with Vitor Hugo and Nikola Milenković, centerback is probably Fiorentina’s best-stocked position, and Pezzella is the best player there. Bienvenido (sort of), Germán.