It’s been a lengthy process, but Fiorentina announced today that they’ve brought Vincenzo Italiano aboard as manager on a 2-year deal worth €1.2 million annually with an option for another year. The former Hellas Verona midfielder reportedly paid the €1 million release fee himself to join the Viola.
If Fiorentina supporters aren’t too vocal in their joy, you can forgive them: after all, the excitement surrounding Gennaro Gattuso is still awfully fresh in everyone’s mind, but the dismay at his departure after just 22 days is even fresher. While Italiano isn’t likely to clash with Daniele Pradè and Joe Barone over transfer policy after just two weeks on the job—he’s not a Jorge Mendes client, after all—it’s tough for fans to marshal their emotions for another parade.
Italiano is one of Italy’s most exciting young managers. Born in Germany but spending his entire playing career in Italy, he worked at Venezia and Luparense San Paolo before scoring his first job as a head coach in Serie D with the Veneto-based outfit, then moving to ArzignanoChampo. He didn’t get a gig with a professional team until 2018, when Trapani brought him in. Italiano responded by leading them to Serie B, but Spezia swooped in a year later and Italiano once again led his team to promotion, this time to the top flight.
In a debut Serie A season for both him and the club, most pundits didn’t give the Aquilotti and chance. Italiano, however, created an effective and sometimes aesthetically-pleasing system based around quick, vertical passing to take his charges to a very impressive 15th place finish, earning himself a contract extension with the Ligurians; bigger clubs like Napoli, Lazio, and Torino were all reportedly interested in him this summer as well.
He’ll likely need to dive straight into his job with Fiorentina, as the transfer window is just two weeks from opening. Expect a number of conferences with Daniele Pradè and company as Italiano looks to strengthen a talented but imbalanced squad ahead of the biggest job he’s ever taken on. We’re very excited to see what he’s got in store, as he’s a good tactician and seems to connect with his players, and we can’t wait to see how he plans to lead Fiorentina back into the European places.