In a move that shouldn’t surprise anyone after Ascoli president Massimo Puccinelli telegraphed it two weeks ago, Fiorentina announced this morning that Luca Ranieri will move on loan to il Picchio (the Woodpecker, which is a fantastic nickname based in Roman and Etruscan mythology) until the end of the season. From what we can glean, it’s a dry loan only, which is good for the Viola; Ranieri’s a class player and losing him would sting.
The 20-year-old defender can play at leftback or in the center. While he’s only been a minor figure in Florence this year—5 appearances (2 in the Coppa Italia) and a sending off that could have easily bee avoided—and seems to have fallen behind Federico Ceccherini in the pecking order of late, the Italy U21 international has a bright future ahead of him. While he’s not the fastest or strongest yet, he reads the game well and times his tackles to perfection while also offering some class on the ball.
He enters a slightly chaotic situation in Marche, where Paolo Zanetti has just been sacked and replaced by interim boss Guillermo Abascal (who’s just 30 what the hell). While the new manager may shake things up a bit, it’s a safe bet that Ranieri will either Andrew Gravillon or Simone Padoin in the lineup pretty soon. We know he’s already good enough to shine in the second tier after his tremendous campaign for Foggia last year, and he shouldn’t take long to settle in.
It’s a great destination, too, as he’ll join fellow youth international Marco Scamacca and former Primavera teammate Erick Ferragra, who’ll hopefully show him the ropes. No matter what, though, this feels like a good move for him, as it’ll get him the minutes that young defenders need to develop. While the move for Igor and proposed deal for Domenico Criscito do throw his long-term Viola future into doubt, we’re behind him all the way. In boca al lupo, Luca!