In a move that will doubtless come as no surprise to some (but perhaps as a major surprise to others), Spanish outfit Getafe announced today that they’ve signed Fiorentina midfielder Sebastian Cristoforo on a season-long loan. While the official press release from the clubs don’t mention a fee due at season’s end, we’ve also heard through the grapevine that there may be one, although the amount remains a mystery if it even exists.
It certainly looks like a positive move for Cristoforo, as he has a much clearer path to playing time at the Coliseo Alfonso Pérez. While Nemanja Maksimović, Mauro Arambarri, and Gaku Shibasaki are no slouches, they provide the only real competition for midfield spots in the Azulon engine room. While Cristoforo may lack the offensive nous of Maksimović or Shibasaki, his mobility and ball-winning ability should put him in contention for a starting role in short order.
Too, a return to Spain can’t be a bad thing either, as it was with Sevilla that Cristoforo first broke through after making his way through the youth ranks at hometown club Peñarol. After some impressive performances in Montevideo, los Rojiblancos forked over €2.25 million for the 20-year-old in 2013. He rewarded their faith with some good play, but a pair of knee injuries put him out of commission for most 2014. Despite a decent showing the following year, he was loaned to Fiorentina with an obligatory €3 million fee due. At the time, it looked a sharp piece of business from Daniele Pradè: a young midfielder who’d been on the cusp of stardom before getting hurt.
Unfortunately, it never worked out for him in Florence. Over two years, he made just 34 appearances, usually off the bench or in cup competitions. While his tenacity in the middle has never been in question, he never looked confident on the ball and routinely misplaced simple passes, much to the frustration of the fans. The arrivals of Jordan Veretout and Marco Benassi last year indicated that the Viola weren’t counting on him as a starter; subsequent moves for Bryan Dabo, Gerson, Christian Nørgaard, and Edimilson Fernandes made it very clear that Pantaleo Corvino was moving on. Cristoforo’s absence from the match day rosters this season were a pretty strong indication that he was on his way out.
If you’re reading this, Sebastian, we wish you nothing but luck. We hope that you can find your best form again with Getafe, where you’ll have former Sevilla teammate David Soria in the setup, as well as fellow Uruguayans Arambarri and Damián Suárez. Maybe you’ll do well enough there for Stefano Pioli to welcome you back to Florence with open arms, and you’ll establish yourself as a Viola legend. We sure hope so.