Fiorentina are carrying a glut of leftbacks. Cristiano Biraghi is the unquestioned starter, but new signing Aleksa Terzić has impressed in the International Champions Cup, as has Luca Ranieri, albeit in a more central role. David Hancko, who impressed in limited minutes last season under Stefano Pioli, but seemed to have dropped down the pecking order under Vincenzo Montella this preseason; that’s why he’s been loaned to Sparta Prague in a deal announced earlier today.
Should Hancko impress, Sparta will have an option to buy him; given the esteem in which he’s held both inside and outside of Florence, that seems the likeliest outcome. Fiorentina will retain a counter-purchase option, although we don’t know the numbers involved either way yet.
Hancko signed from MŠK Žilina for €3.8 million last year. While he mostly rode the bench behind Biraghi, he made a second half debut against SPAL and looked really good. Although he only wound up making 5 appearances on the season, including one with an assist for Luis Muriel against Chievo Verona, he impressed enough to earn a starting berth for Slovakia, earning 7 caps in the past year.
Blessed with vision and a rocket-boosted scalpel for a left peg, his weakness is a lack of pace. That won’t stop him from having a fine career, though; he’s as talented a 21-year-old as you’re likely to find anywhere. His agent recently said that Hancko needs to play 30 games this year, whether in Florence or elsewhere, and he’ll get that chance in Prague. He’ll even get to swing crosses into fellow ex- (and possibly future) Viola prospect Martin Graiciar. Anyways, we’re big Hancko fans and think he’ll do very well. Hopefully he impresses and we get to see him in purple again some time soon.