With a surplus of promising strikers in the Viola fold, we always expected a few to leave on loan, and it’s Gabriele Gori who’s the first out the door. The 19-year-old will spend his first season as a professional at Foggia in Serie B, along with Primavera teammate Luca Ranieri.
It’s a good move for all parties involved. The Satanelli (yes it means Little Satans) get a talented understudy for main man Fabio Mazzeo, who turns 35 this month. Gori should be the first option off the bench when Mazzeo needs a break—which, again, he’s 35 and not able to play twice a week) and learn under a veteran who scored 21 goals last term. Fiorentina get to see their prized teenager get a full season of development with the big boys rather than leave him languishing on the bench.
Languishing, of course, isn’t Gori’s style. He’s a big, powerful hit man who likes to bully opponents. That’s not to say that he’s pure brute, though; he’s much better on the ball than that and has a pretty advanced understanding of space and angles. He should only get better with regular playing time and could be ready to contribute in Serie A sooner rather than later.
Ranieri, for his part, was the best defender in the Primavera last season and led the team in minutes played. He’s a modern fullback who likes to get forward in attack and is quite good on the ball: his crossing and passing are solid, he’s got plenty of energy, and he can get past his man with the ball. He seems stronger in defense than you might expect, showing a real knack for cleanly dispossessing attackers in space. He will need to get stronger to deal with the grown men of Serie B rather than the teenagers with the Primavera, but we think he’s up to the task.
The downside is he’ll face a fair amount of competition for space. Incumbent Matteo Rubin has the inside track, but Alessandro Celli and Luigi Dinielli will want to stake their claims as well. A point in Ranieri’s favor, though, is that new mister Gianluca Grassadonia only arrived on the scene at the start of this month and so won’t be bringing any biases from last year into the team. If Luca can perform in training, he could be in for a big role alongside ex-Viola defenders Michele Camporese and Alan Empereur.