I’ve been writing on this website long enough that if someone were to peruse through all my previous articles on Fiorentina, one could plaster together a montage of my previous opinions which have aged like milk.
Heading into the summer mercato last offseason, goalkeeper was an obvious position to upgrade. For better or worse, Bartłomiej Drągowski was not liked by Vincenzo Italiano, and while Pietro Terraciano was average, there were few moments where he helped the Viola win matches. While the Gugliemo Vicario and Marco Carnesecchi rumors were exciting, Fiorentina’s reluctance to spend eight figures on a new #1 led to Pierluigi Gollini being the choice instead.
Now, this is one of those times where my opinion did not age well. Gollini was brought in on a relatively cheap deal: a €500,000 loan fee paid upfront, in addition to an €8 million option to buy at the end of the campaign. Here was my opinion on him joining Fiorentina:
“However, Gollini made a lot of sense then and still does now. He has a history with the club, having played for the Viola’s youth sector from 2010-2012. Most importantly, he was a pretty solid goalkeeper in his time with La Dea, and has Champions League experience. He knows how to play the ball out from the back as well, as one would expect under Gian Piero Gasperini.”
Ouch. Since arriving at the club, Gollini has played three matches in Serie A and five in the Conference League. I don’t want to rag on him too much, so I’ll keep this brief. Yes, he's been horrible. While there are a handful of moments I could point to, the most infuriating has to be his performance in Istanbul on September 15th in matchday two of the Conference League. His blunders in that match likely cost the Viola the top spot in Group A and thus a bye to the round of 16. Instead, Fiorentina will now have to play Braga in a matchup that will be far from easy.
Still, it’s a little surprising to see Gollini already on his way out in January. Having loans cut short is a rarity in today’s game, and speaks to both how much Gollini expected to be the starter and how little Fiorentina thinks of his abilities. Regardless, this move is for the best. I imagine Terracciano will remain the #1 shot-stopper through the rest of the season. And who knows, maybe Antonio Rosati will come out of retirement and reclaim the #3 goalkeeper position. Hopefully, Fiorentina can actually invest in a longer-term upgrade at the position this summer. However, given Rocco’s unwillingness to open up the checkbook recently and Terracciano’s new contract extension, I see it as unlikely.