It sounds like Fiorentina’s first move of the winter transfer window could be a sale rather than a purchase, if you believe Gianluca di Marzio; he reports that Serie C outfit Potenza are planning a swoop for 20-year-old goalkeeper Michele Cerofolini. He’s served as the third goalkeeper this year, so an exit could mean that Primavera number one Federico Brancolini receives a promotion, although a veteran could also join the roster in a supporting role as well.
The Arezzo-born Cerofolini enjoyed a sterling reputation at youth level, capping it off with 22 appearances between the sticks for 2017-2018 team headlined by Gabriele Gori and Riccardo Sottil. That earned him a move to Serie B outfit Cosenza last year, but he was unable to unseat veteran Umberto Saracco and made just 2 appearances for the Lupi before moving to Bisceglie in Serie C, where he firmly established himself as the starter and producing a string of brilliant displays to keep them from going down.
Impressing in awful circumstances seems to be his calling card of late, as he was quite solid for the Italy U20s in the Elite League tournament last fall despite a last-place finish from the Azzurini. At Potenza, though, he’ll have a chance to buck that trend: the Rossoblù are a surprising third in the southern region of the third tier, trailing leaders Reggiana and even with Bari on points. The Basilicata-based outfit haven’t settled on a goalkeeper, though, alternating between veteran Raffaele Iome and youngster Sebastian Breza.
That’s the rub: unless Potenza manager Davide Raffaele has believes that Cerolini would be an automatic starter, there’s no reason to throw him into an already murky situation. It’s clear that Fiorentina believes in him—ending his loan at Cosenza early so that he could earn playing time elsewhere is a strong move—so you’d think that the mister would need to make assurances that the Viola man would get regular minutes.
The formula of any potential deal remains cloudy, too. A dry loan seems most likely, but di Marzio doesn’t rule out a sale, either. Regardless whether it’s a loan, a loan with an option, or a sale with a counter-option, though, we expect Fiorentina to keep close tabs on the youngster; projecting goalkeepers’ development is notoriously difficult, but Cerofolini looks like a winner. Whether it’s Potenza or somewhere else, we’d like to see him stay on the Viola books for another few years to get a better feeling for his ceiling.