With Nico Gonzalez out for the foreseeable future, Fiorentina needs help on the wings desperately. Even with Gonzalez healthy, the Viola’s attacking punch has been lacking for a second consecutive season. Josip Brekalo, Jonathon Ikone, and Riccardo Sottil aren’t good enough for a team aspiring for the Champions League. Luckily, the January mercato is here, and with winger the easiest position to reinforce, expect Fiorentina to bring at least one in. Enter Bryan Gil.
The 22-year-old Spaniard was the main subject of a Di Marzio piece today hinting at the Viola’s interest, as I was quickly reminded by multiple texts from Spurs-supporting friends. “The Beatle of Barbate!” they exclaimed, a nod to the Andalusian’s 1964 George Harrison-esque mop. I mean seriously, just check out his Transfermarkt profile photo.
At first glance, this is an interesting signing. Gil clearly has potential, putting together a quality season on loan at Eibar three seasons ago as a teenager (four goals and three assists in 2,300 minutes), that led to Spurs snapping him up for €25 million plus Rabona god Erik Lamela. Gil also wasn’t bad for a bad Sevilla last campaign, and at his best is both an excellent crosser and a direct dribbler. However, he still hasn’t consistently put together a good full campaign since his teenage years and has also picked up a knack for nagging injuries.
As one of my friends said, Gil is “a dainty technical player with a lot of flairs and a strong preference for his weak foot”. Hmmm... can you think of another player like that on Fiorentina’s roster? While I appreciate Fiorentina testing the market for players like Gil, and could see him becoming dangerous with a full pre-season under Vincenzo Italiano’s belt, there are way too many red flags for him to be brought into a team in win-now mode. Fiorentina needs a winger who can get in behind and finish, providing a legitimate second scoring option to Gonzalez (and maybe one day a striker). There are plenty of players on the roster already who can dribble and not provide end-product, and moving away from the more physical Premier League is not going to change that for Gil. Spurs would also likely want at least €15 million for Gil’s services, which is a big, fat, nope from me.
While I believe the rumor, I doubt Joe Barone and co. are doing more than requesting information, and Gil’s agent is trying to drum up some interest to get a move away, and using the fourth-place team in Italy is good press to do just so. I wouldn’t hate the move as an Ikone replacement, but I don’t see us bringing in two wingers this window as much as I believe it would improve the team. Keep an eye on this in the summer, however, as I expect significant turnover on the wings then, and these types of rumors tend to stick around for multiple windows. A loan with an option to buy would make a lot more sense then. This January, however, if we’re going to go for a left-footed Spanish playmaker, I’d almost rather see Tofol Montiel get another shot with the Viola.