The friendly against Hellas Verona yesterday made it quite clear to everyone watching just how thin Fiorentina is in the midfield right now. After all, when you’re counting on Primavera winger Marco Meli to do a job there, even in a preseason match, you’re in a bit of trouble. Apparently Pantaleo Corvino was aware of the shortfall as well, because the club just announced the signing of former Brøndby man Christian Nørgaard, who will arrive in Florence tomorrow for his medical evaluation and introduction.
The 24-year-old (who played 27 times for the Denmark U21s) returned to Denmark with local giants Brøndby in 2013 after an underwhelming year and a half with Hamburg SV, where he never made it out of the reserves. At Brøndby, though, he’s been reborn, making 41 appearances last term. He chipped in with 2 goals and 2 assists to go along with his 6 yellow cards, and even wore the armband for a match.
With all due respect, Nørgaard looks ready for a bigger league than the Superligaen. He’s a steady defensive midfielder who gets through plenty of running. While he packs a powerful shot and uses his height (6’2 or 187 cm) to threaten on set pieces, he’s probably going to be more suited for the holding role in Italy. He breaks up play well and knows how to keep his passing simple, although he’s not afraid to look for the killer pass.
He should be on the shortlist to replace the recently-retired William Kvist for Denmark, but he’ll begin his Fiorentina career as a bench option, as it’s hard to see him as an improvement on any of Jordan Veretout, Bryan Dabo, or Marco Benassi, especially considering the language and cultural barriers he’ll face. However, we think that he could wind up being a useful piece of the squad and should be more than capable of starting against lower-table opposition. While we don’t yet know the fee involved, it’s hard to imagine it being much more than €3 million. These are the types of under-the-radar deals, for quality depth players, that strengthen a team immeasurably. We’re quite pleased with this one.