Fiorentina has opened its mercato with the announcement this morning that Gabriele Ferrarini will leave the Viola on loan to Serie B’s Venezia. It’s a big step up for the Italy youth international, who spent last year (his first outside the friendly confines of the Viola academy) at nearby Pistoiese in Serie C.
While it’s no easy feat for a 20-year-old to move into burly, competitive world of the second tier, we think that Ferrarini should adapt without much trouble. He was perhaps Serie C’s best wingback last season, tallying a goal and 3 assists in 24 appearances before play was halted. More than that, his pace, dribbling, constant forward movement, and much-improved defensive contribution were very impressive.
New Arancioneroverdi (yes, it’s a mouthful) manager Paolo Zanetti won’t have any attachment to the current players, so Ferrarini will have every chance to impress his new boss. Genoa loanee Ivan Lakićević was solid at rightback last year but probably doesn’t offer as much quality going forward as the youngster if he’s brought back, and guys like Alessandro Fiordaliso and Edoardo Soldati may leave on loan themselves for further experience.
Considering that we weren’t entirely convinced by Ferrarini as recently as two years ago, largely due to his habit of getting too far forward and leaving his wing open to counterattacks, this move to one of Italy’s oldest and proudest clubs (albeit one that’s been a mess in recent years) shows how far the Spezia-born man has come. He should, at worst, establish himself as an important rotational piece this year and could wind up as the starter.
He’ll need to continue to improve his awareness going backwards, but his attacking prowess marks him out as a guy to watch over the next couple of years; he could be at the vanguard of the next academy generation to break into the first team. For now, we wish him all the best, safe in the confidence that he’s got everything he needs to make a mark in Venice. We’ll also point out that Ferrarini may have the best eyebrows on the Fiorentina books, too.