Even with the drama surrounding Lucas Torreira’s non-renewal (there’s supposedly another meeting today), Fiorentina’s mercato still hasn’t officially started.
With that being said, there are plenty of rumors going around, so many that I can’t even begin to cover them all here. One of the more interesting ones to appear in recent days, however, is a swap with Atalanta regarding Christian Kouamé and Pierluigi Gollini.
Gianluca di Marzio, who I regard alongside Niccolò Ceccarini as the best Viola transfer sources, confirmed the reports today.
Seemingly, there would no cash exchanged between the two sides. Instead, this would just be an NBA or NFL-style one-for-one trade.
If you’re rusty on your Kouamé knowledge, he was purchased from Genoa for €10 million in January of 2020, which we thought was a steal. Unfortunately, his eighteen months with the Viola did not go as planned, and he only managed one goal in the league last season. A loan to Anderlecht in Belgium helped considerably, as he scored 13 goals and 10 assists in 36 matches in all competitions.
Still, heading into next season it’s hard to find a place for him in Florence unless Vincenzo Italiano pivots to a 4-4-2 setup, which seems unlikely. I doubt Kouamé wants to be backing up Arthur Cabral next season. Besides, Kouamé is the type of player who thrives when given space to operate in, and Vincenzo Italiano’s tactics don’t provide that freedom for the #9.
Meanwhile, Gollini is 27 and coming off a loan move with Tottenham Hotspur where he backed up Hugo Lloris. He only made 10 appearances all season, and zero in the Premier League. While Gollini wasn’t great with Spurs, I never like judging backup goalkeepers based on a small sample size. It’s the same reason why I still think Bart is a great keeper despite his mishaps this season. Gollini’s €15 million purchase option was not picked up, and now he’s back with La Dea.
However, with Atlanta investing heavily in Juan Musso last summer, and having Italy’s best u-21 young goalkeeper in Marco Carnesecchi, there’s little chance he stays in Bergamo. When thinking through Fiorentina’s realistic signings last week, I chose Gugliemo Vicario for the goalkeeper position, as that seemed the likeliest signing at the time. 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.
Given Rocco Commisso’s stated budget of €50 million for the mercato, the Viola management needs to look for opportunities for shrewd deals in order to invest elsewhere (such as signing Torreira, damn it). Letting a player go in Kouamé who is surplus to requirements at zero cost in exchange for a goalkeeping upgrade is great business. Thus, a Kouamé for Gollini deal would be an excellent start to the mercato.