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Fiorentina hoping to hang onto Gerson

The Roma loanee has impressed in Florence this year, so it’s no surprise that the Viola want to bring him aboard on a permanent basis.

ACF Fiorentina v Parma FC - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Gerson has been an integral part of Stefano Pioli’s Fiorentina this year, so it’s not a surprise that the club want to keep the midfielder. However, his parent club AS Roma set up a dry loan, leaving the Viola without an option to redeem the 21-year-old at season’s end; as a result, it seems like he’ll take his talents back to the capital after this year. But when Pantaleo Corvino holds the reins, you never know what kind of transfer wackiness might ensue, and it sounds like he’s inching towards a permanent transfer for the Brazilian.

We’re big Gerson fans around here, and it’s not just because he ran that match against SPAL on Sunday. He’s a versatile midfielder with the sort of skill set that a modern high-pressure system demands: he gets forward as well as anyone; he does his share of defensive work; he’s a reliable and willing passer; but most importantly, he can carry the ball through opposing pressure into the attacking third, thus breaking the press. Given the prevalence of gegenpressing at the top levels of the game, having a guy who can shrug off a tackler and break the lines with the ball at his feet constitutes a massive advantage in the middle.

Sure, Gerson’s end result is often lacking. He’s got 2 goals and 2 assists this year, which is nobody’s idea of a solid return for a guy who’s played in 25 matches. But when he’s on his game, his influence is undeniable: like a cagey 45-year-old playing basketball at the YMCA, his style of play involves unexpected angles, caginess, a knack for winning fouls, and a Boris Diaw-level use of the butt. In a Fiorentina midfield that’s often painfully functional, he’s often the only player who really offers anything going forward in the middle. When you look at his talent, age, and versatility, it quickly becomes clear that he’s a perfect player for Fiorentina Yeye 2.0.

It’s tough to figure out what the particulars of the deal would be, but it’s doubtful that Roma would accept a substantial loss on the €16 million they spent to buy him from Fluminense in 2016. Given that Corvino seems to be on a loan kick these days, he’ll likely propose another loan with an option to buy at the end of 2020.

How Monchi and Roma will respond is trickier to predict. On the one hand, it seems like the Giallorossi have already moved on from Gerson (which, given that he’s still only 21, is pretty crazy) if you listen to the fans who’ve been very unimpressed with his performance with the Lupi. On the other hand, the Romans know that they have a commodity that Fiorentina want, and can thus drive a pretty hard bargain if they choose.

If you’re in the mood to believe ViolaNews, it sounds like the decision is up to Gerson. Whether that bodes well for Fiorentina or not is something we simply can’t know. After all, there was that report this summer about the player returning to Rome without Pioli’s permission (followed by some mildly spicy comments from the player’s father/agent) because he didn’t think that Florence meant anything. On the other hand, he’s become a critical part of a young and (maybe?) exciting team, so it could be that he wants to stick around for a bit longer before moving on.

We here at VN know better than to offer an opinion without incontrovertible proof (hi, Seba), so we’re taking a hard pass on making a prediction here. All we can offer is the facts as we know them, and they follow: Gerson is good and there’s at least a chance that his mid- to long-term future is in Florence. If you combine this rumor with the ones about Luis Muriel and Edimilson Fernandes, you can start to see the outline of the Viola future.