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OFFICIAL: Venuti loaned to Lecce

Another Viola rightback leaves Florence for a year.

Fortuna Dusseldorf v Fiorentina: Pre-Season Friendly
Maybe next year, Lollo.
Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Fiorentina have announced that Lorenzo Venuti has moved on loan for the year to Lecce. This is a strictly temporary move, and Lollo will be back in Florence next year. It’s a smart move from Pantaleo Corvino that cuts down on the logjam at rightback in the Viola defense and pretty well guarantees Venuti plenty of opportunities to keep playing and growing.

The 23-year-old will have to fight for his place with the Salentini. While he should comfortably surpass Riccardo Fiamozzi in the pecking order, the real challenge will be unseating club captain Franco Lepore, a rightback who wears the number 10 shirt. However, Venuti’s versatility—he filled in at leftback last year as well as in the heart of defense and out in the wide midfield positions—should see manager Fabio Liverani (yes, that one) find a spot for him; in the 4-3-1-2 the ex-Viola maestro employs, Venuti can probably fill in for at least half the positions.

Venuti is a Tuscan through and through, born in Montevarchi (between Florence and Arezzo) and a Fiorentina lifer. After rising through the academy and starring for the Primavera, he earned loan moves to Pescara, Brescia, and Benevento. The latter was where he broke through, helping the Stregoni to a historic Serie A promotion in 2017. He returned for last year’s campaign and helped make history again, albeit as part of the second-worst defensive showing ever in Serie A. However, that’s not exactly on the player, as it takes 11 to create such a bad defense and Lollo was frequently used out of position.

Now 23 years old and a ways removed from his time as an Italy U21 international, we fully expect Venuti to recapture his confidence and his form in the Florence of the South. You have to think that he remains part of Fiorentina’s long term plans, considering that he signed a contract extension last summer to keep him on the Viola books until 2019. We’re hoping for big things out of him, and firmly believe that he’s got the goods to back up those expectations.