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Report: Genoa closing in on Marco Benassi

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Last season’s leading scorer probably doesn’t fit the Montella mold, but demand should be high for his services.

AS Roma v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

On the first official day of the transfer window, Fiorentina haven’t actually done anything. The rumors around the club, however, have ramped into overdrive, and one of the ones we’re willing to at least consider as being sort of credible involves Marco Benassi moving to Genoa. SportItalia believes that the Grifoni have approached the Viola about a move for their top goal scorer last season (as reported by Fiorentina.it), which would kick the Tuscan midfield’s rebuild into overdrive.

Benassi, despite his club-leading 9 goals last year, never really convinced in a purple shirt. While some of that certainly comes down to his role—he’s effectively played a bizarre wingback-cum-striker role for the past two campaigns—he just doesn’t seem to pass the eyeball test. While a Vincenzo Monella-coached side can make room for a player who’s occasionally a passenger in the middle—Alberto Aquilani, please call us because we love you—Benassi is often so peripheral to the play that you forget he’s on the pitch unless he’s scoring.

Given that Montella believes in keeping the ball in the middle, the former Inter Milan man is certainly a candidate for an exit, especially since Vinnie used him as an out-and-out wingback to finish the season rather than in the center of the pitch. With the likes of Szymon Żurkowski and Gaetano Castrovilli inbound (both are dynamic in possession and look tailor-made for a possession-based attacking side), it’s not hard to imagine Benassi, a remnant of the previous regime, being squeezed out.

Genoa would probably have to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of €12 million to secure Benassi’s services, which is how much Fiorentina originally shelled out to bring him aboard from Torino. A loan with an option seems the easiest formula for all involved, although the Rossoblu may have some trouble stumping up the cash for the player. Too, given his fringe status with the national side—he’s been called up a few times but has yet to make his debut—and his tender years (he’s still only 24, which seems at least 5 years younger than what you’d expect), his price should be pretty high.

Combined with the certain exit of Jordan Veretout to Napoli, AC Milan, Arsenal, or Poggibonsi, along with the end of loan deals for Gerson and Edimilson Fernandes, it’s entirely possible that Fiorentina will sport a completely new engine room come opening day. Bryan Dabo stands to be the only survivor from last year, and even he’s been linked to moves elsewhere. While we’re not entirely convinced that this report has any truth behind it, it’s a stark reminder of how far Fiorentina fell in 2019 and how far they have yet to climb.