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Dalbert, Badelj, and Ghezzal will stay in Florence until the season’s end

It’s no surprise, but nothing’s a given when COVID-19 has scrambled everything

Keeping the band together.
Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

In a move that amounts to mere bookkeeping for the parties involved, Fiorentina will keep Dalbert, Milan Badelj, and Rachid Ghezzal on loan from Inter Milan, Lazio, and Leicester City, respectively, until the games wrap up this season. As their deals were set to expire on the last day of June, it makes sense to ensure they’ll remain in Florence for squad depth while the coronavirus extended season plays out.

For Dalbert, this extension could presage a return next year as well, as we’ve heard that the Viola are interested in keeping him for the 2020-2021 campaign. As we’ve discussed previously, the Brazilian is crucial going forward; his pace, constant overlapping, and excellent crossing (he leads the club in assists this year) open things up so much for Franck Ribery and Gaetano Castrovilli. His defensive shortcomings are just as apparent, particularly his penchant for bookings, but he’s at worst an adequate stopgap at wingback until Daniele Pradè can find a long-term solution.

Badelj and Ghezzal are less likely to return. We’ve already heard that the Croatian is Lokomotiv Moscow-bound next year, so he’s pretty well finished in Florence. The Algerian is a slightly trickier read; although he really impressed against Lazio, that’s his only impressive outing of the year, and it’s hard to see the club sinking money into his loan clause with a number of exciting young attackers waiting in the wings as well.

Again, all these moves were pretty well expected. Most clubs around the world seem to have agreed to continue loans for the extended part of the season (with a few high-profile exceptions) as part of a gentleman’s agreement. Still, it’s good news for Fiorentina, as losing any of these three (Dalbert especially) would downgrade the squad depth substantially when it’s most needed.