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Report: Fiorentina really for serious interested in Eusebio di Francesco

Sometimes, the rumors get so far advanced that they circle back around to what we heard last year.

Hellas Verona v UC Sampdoria - Serie A Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

We’ve heard plenty about how Fiorentina are looking to replace Giuseppe Iachini at the end of the season, and we’re inclined to believe that the brass are indeed ready to shuffle Beppe along (to Celta Vigo, of all places?) given the number of rumors we’ve heard about a new mister arriving.

The latest name in that parade is one we’ve heard linked to the Viola job before, and it’s Eusebio di Francesco. The former Sassuolo boss has been out of work after looking uneven at AS Roma and then simply terrible at Sampdoria, but he’s apparently set his sights on Florence as his next destination, with Daniele Pradè and company returning his interest.

On the one hand, di Francesco might be a perfect fit in Florence. His trademark 4-3-3 seems like the right formation for the personnel, and he’s always seemed to have a knack for getting the most out of talented young attackers. Tactically, his brand of quick-passing, vertically-oriented attacking football is much closer to what fans want to see. Players like Franck Ribery, Gaetano Castrovilli, Sofyan Amrabat, and former charges Pol Lirola and Alfred Duncan would likely thrive in his system, and he could convince Federico Chiesa to stick around for another year or two.

The downside is that he sure looked washed at Samp, lasting just 8 matches before getting the sack. While his Sassuolo teams were simply fantastic—he led them on an unholy run to earn promotion and then steady mid-table success— he’s also suffered his fair share of spectacular flameouts: 3 points from 8 games with the Blucerchiati in 2019, and 8 from 13 with Lecce in 2011.

If EdF can rediscover the inspiration that made him Italy’s most exciting young coach with the Neroverdi half a decade ago, he’d be the perfect hire. The concern is that he’s the same guy who let Stefano Pioli’s embarrassing Viola side knock his Roma out of the Coppa Italia by a score of 7-1 (wow was that fun).

On the other hand, he’s still more exciting than Marco Giampaolo, who is second in line for the job according to Gianluca di Marzio. Looking at the really bizarre list of possible hires, EdF fits in as solidly middling. On the plus side, at least he’s got his coaching badges, unlike Daniele de Rossi.