The transfer window opens on the first day of September and Fiorentina are trimming the roster already. Following Gabriele Ferrarini’s move to Venezia, the Viola have kept the theme going by loaning out three (3!) more young fullbacks to get them more experience. The Primavera pair of Edoardo Pierozzi and Federico Simonti will head down the road to Serie C outfit Pistoiese, while Kevin Diks will return to Aarhus in Denmark.
The Firenze-born Pierozzi is definitely one to watch. The 18-year-old mostly plays on the right of a back four and loves to get forward, serving almost as an extra wide playmaker at times more than a traditional fullback while still possessing the defensive chops to hold down his side of the pitch. He made his Primavera debut as a 16-year-old, highlighting exactly how precocious he is. After a couple of years as Ferrarini’s understudy, he stepped into the first XI under Emilio Bigica and always looked ready for another step; last we saw him, he was creating all kinds of problems for Hellas Verona in the Coppa Italia final. This move to Pistoia will be his first away from the Viola setup, and we think he’ll do very well. New manager Nicolò Frustalupi likes a 3-5-2 and Pierozzi should get the nod at right wingback from day one.
Simonti, hailing from Bagno a Ripoli, is 20 years old and plays primarily as a leftback. Not the fastest or most dynamic, he makes his living as a very solid defender, using his pace and quickness to stick close to wingers and sweep up behind his colleagues as necessary. He probably needs to improve going forward to get reps at wingback or pack on some muscle to work on the left of a back three (he’s built like a whippet), but his combination of intelligence and determination—he was the Primavera captain last year—mean that he should hit the ground running.
Unlike the former pair, Diks is a bit more experienced in senior football despite being only 23. Since his €3 million move to Tuscany from boyhood club Vitesse, the Dutchman has struggled to lock down a spot at any of Fiorentina, Feyenoord, and Empoli. His move to Aarhus, however, seemed to get him moving again, so it makes sense to get him back there as he plays for his next contract (his Viola deal expires at season’s end and likely won’t be renewed). It’s worth remembering that he was touted as one of Europe’s best fullback prospects just 4 years ago; while it’s unlikely that he’ll catch on in Florence, there’s still a decent chance that he blooms into a very good pro. And, if nothing else, let’s remember that he seems like a very nice dude who’s proven himself a friend to Viola Club Indonesia, which is really cool.
We wish all three of Pierozzi, Simonti, and Diks the best as they set out on their new adventures. They’re all well set to succeed and should all have good seasons. Given how Daniele Pradè does business, though, they’re just the first wave of youngsters out the door on temporary deals. Expect to hear a lot more of these stories in the coming days.