Hold onto your hats, Fiorentina fans. We’ve got our first transfer of the winter window: Gilberto has been sold to Fluminense for a sum believed to be around €80,000; we’d assume there’s also a percentage of future sales, a buyback option, and/or a hefty bundle of performance bonuses baked into the deal.
Gilberto Moraes Júnior (to give him his full name) joined Fiorentina back in 2015 (yes, at the end of the first Daniele Pradè era) for €2 million. Despite occasional flashes as wingback, the then-22-year-old was loaned out to Hellas Verona and then Latina the following two years, developing a reputation as a bit of a head-case as he got in trouble with management at both stops. A return to Brazil with Vasco da Gama in 2017 got him back on the right track, and he moved from there to Fluminense in 2018 for a loan fee of €60,000.
The former Brazil U23 international has really gotten his career back on track since returning to his hometown of Rio de Janeiro; he even wore the captain’s armband a couple of times this past season, indicating that he’s grown up quite a bit since his enfant terrible days on the peninsula. Over the past 2 years, he’s made 54 appearances for Fluzão, notching 3 goals and 5 assists to go with just 5 bookings (and a sending off). Pacy and fearless going forward, he’s sometimes remiss at the back, but he’s clearly come into his own as a professional, especially at such a discounted price.
He ends his Viola career with 342 minutes played across 7 appearances, although it’s been nearly half a decade since he pulled on the famous purple shirt. While many critics will point to him as an utter failure, that’s probably not fair to anyone; he probably wasn’t ready for the jump from Botafogo (his only senior professional campaign before moving to Italy) to Fiorentina, and struggled accordingly; there’s no shame in a youngster not settling in immediately. Back in his comfort zone, he’s become a reliable performer, which validates the talent that Pradè initially saw in him.
Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out, and that’s okay. We wish Gilberto nothing but the best in his career and believe he’s got the goods to be everything Fluminense wants and more.