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Report: Bonaventura set for Florence

The veteran midfielder will arrive on a free with plenty of experience if you believe Pedullà.

Italy Portrait Session
Looks excited, doesn’t he?
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

We’re not always completely sold on Alfredo Pedullà, so take this with a grain of salt, but it sounds like midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura is ready for a move to Fiorentina. The former Atalanta star is out of a contract at AC Milan this summer (not that he sounds bitter) and has been one of Italy’s most sought-after free signings.

Despite reported interest from Lazio, Torino, Genoa, and Benevento, the 31-year-old has (again, according to Pedullà) picked Florence as his new home, completing a transfer rumor from 2013. We haven’t heard any report on his wage, but we’d guess it’s somewhere around the €2 million he made last year.

It feels like Jack’s been on the scene since forever, but he should have at least another couple of good years in him. He doesn’t have the sheer pace he boasted in his days with la Dea, but he’s still got quick feet and is excellent on the ball, both as a passer and a dribbler. He stacked up 4 goals and 6 assists in 1530 minutes this year (a goal/assist every 153 minutes is good) even as a part-time starter, and has the versatility to play as a trequartista, a wide playmaker, or a mezzala.

The problem, of course, is the injuries. Nobody’s ever doubted that Bonaventura’s an excellent player, but he’s dealt with some serious physical problems over the past few years; a shredded cruciate ligament is a concern, but his tender hamstrings are also a cause for worry. When he’s on the pitch, though, there’s no question that he’s a top-notch pro, both as a player and a presence.

The real question would be his role with Fiorentina. Sofyan Amrabat and Gaetano Castrovilli should be untouchable in Giuseppe Iachini’s XI, which would leave Jack scrapping with Erick Pulgar and Alfred Duncan for that third spot. Ideally, he’d serve as a spot starter and spark off the bench, able to shoulder some of the creative burden with Franck Ribery while not blocking any of the younger guys from playing significant minutes.

Given his recent medical history, there’s some reason to hope that the Viola won’t rely on him too heavily, as he, Ribery, and Martín Cáceres are all guys who’ve had more than their fair share of knocks. But as a change of pace when chasing games or an occasional starter, he’s the exact sort of guy that the Viola should be looking at. If this one’s true, it’s good news indeed.