January 31st is always a nightmare for anyone who writes about European soccer, because the flurry of deals makes it nigh impossible to keep pace. So instead of publishing a new article every time a deal went official (and basically giving myself heart palpitations for 12 hours), I’m just going to recap everything here, from the (relative) peace of the afternoon.
AM Valentin Eysseric—loaned to Nantes
We did already cover this one, so have a look at the details if you missed them.
CB Jacob Rasmussen—bought from Empoli and loaned to Empoli
Fiorentina bought the 21-year-old Dane centerback from their smaller neighbors for €7 million and loaned him back for the rest of the year, just as they did with Hamed Junior Traorè earlier this month; perhaps this is Pantaleo Corvino’s new preferred formula. Anyways, Rasmussen certainly looks the part: big, strong, and surprisingly athletic, especially for a man his size, he should fit into Stefano Pioli’s plans as a rugged and mobile defender who can stick tight to a man and defend his penalty box. After opening the season as the starter for the Azzurri, he dropped to the bench for a couple of months, but scrapped back to regain his spot back in December. Recently called up to the Danish national team (but not handed a debut), he’s a very promising young player who could be an upgrade on Federico Ceccherini right away, and might be a long-term replacement for Vitor Hugo.
RB Kevin Diks—loaned to Empoli
The 22-year-old Dutchman will join Rasmussen and Traorè with the Azzurri, although he’ll be staying until the summer of 2020 on an 18 month loan; apparently the uproar over the Riccardo Saponara transfer has been forgiven. Diks will finally get a chance to prove that he belongs in Serie A, and the extra long deal should help him get some continuity. He’s currently suffering from some sort of ding that’s kept him out for a couple of month—perhaps that’s why it’s been Vincent Laurini who’s gotten some minutes of late—but this is probably more about planning for next year: Empoli are 3 points above the drop and look like they could well hang on, but are likely to lose star right wingback Giovanni di Lorenzo (in fact, we’ve heard that the Viola are interested) at season’s end. Getting Diks a bit early means he should fill in seamlessly if di Lorenzo does leave. Worst case scenario is that the Dutch U21 international spends a season as a backup, then returns to Florence with just a year on his contract. We really want him to work out, though, and think this could jump start him nicely.
ST Cyril Théréau—loaned to Cagliari
The 35-year-old Frenchman will link up with old boss Rolando Maran in Sardinia for the rest of the year. He should fit right into the mister’s trademark brand of shithousery as a rotational option up top, and we fully expect him to thrive as only Cyril can. We’re not sure if there’s an option for the Isolani to buy him at season’s end, so there’s a chance that he’ll be back in Florence next year, after which his contract expires. Anyways, good luck to the crab-handed man.
ST Gabriel Gori—loaned to Livorno
The 19-year-old hitman will try his hand in Tuscany’s most famous coastal city for the rest of the year after a disappointing stint with Foggia saw him score once and assist once in 10 games while falling behind the likes of Pietro Iemello, Fabio Mazzeo, Cristiano Galano, and Emmanuele Ciccirelli. The Labronici are a bit less impressive in the table this year than the Satanelli, but both are mired in a relegation fight. On the plus side, Livorno are the lowest-scoring team in the division and should be willing to give the U20 international a fighting chance to earn a spot up top, where he’ll be set up by former Viola players Alessandro Diamanti and Niccolo Fazzi.
CM Andy Bangu—loaned to Bisceglie
The 21-year-old Congolese heartthrob will join fellow youth loanees Michele Cerofolini and Luca Mosti at the Serie C outfit. Given the team’s struggles to generate anything remotely resembling an attack, Bangu’s drive from the middle of the park and knack for popping up in the box could see him shoot to the forefront under manager Rodolfo Vanoli. We really hope so, as he’s running out of chances with the Viola after a couple of underwhelming stints. His exit from Matera, though, isn’t really his fault; through 16 scoreless appearances, he was doing fine. Rather, Matera stopped paying him in December and still hasn’t issued a statement in the matter. At least there were various clubs after Bangu this January, showing that he’s still a marked man. Hopefully he finds tranquility and consistency at Bisceglie.