At the beginning of the season, Fiorentina looked set at goalkeeper. Ciprian Tătăruşanu was the unquestioned number 1, with Luigi Sepe a promising backup and cup goalkeeper, and Luca Lezzerini available as the developmental prospect. Not even a year later, none of those roles remain the same. Let's take a look at how we got here.
The Romanian number one came into the season with a reputation for being solid but unspectacular. While he produces few highlight reel saves, he rarely commits the sort of gaffe that ends up on the lowlight reel, either (at least, not at club level). However, due to a string of lackluster performances by the team as a whole, he leaked in a fair number of goals during the second half of the season, leading to speculation that Viola brass wanted an upgrade between the sticks. The thunderously silent response from Corvino and company, as well as the non-stop succession of goalkeepers linked to Fiorentina, must have him a bit anxious about his role next year. Given his height and commanding presence against crosses, he's generated some interest in the Premier League.
Final stats: 39 appearances, 43 goals conceded, 15 clean sheets, 2 yellow cards
Grade: B. Steady, above replacement-level goalkeeping, but still unremarkable.
The 25 year old Napoli loanee was supposed to lock down a role as Fiorentina's cup goalkeeper, then return to Naples and compete for a role next year. Sure enough, Paulo Sousa handed him a starting role in the Europa League, and Sepe was, quite frankly, deeply mediocre. He didn't look like a former youth international; he looked like the sort of goalie who bounces between Serie A and Serie B. His most notable contribution was his unbelievably scattershot passing from the back, although he did make one or two decent stops. However, the drama really occurred when he had a Twitter meltdown of impressive proportions. He posted a long screed against Fiorentina and Sousa, criticizing the club for not handing him the starting role. Not surprisingly, he was immediately yanked from the roster and sent back to Napoli. He's since posted a dubious apology, and it sounds like he'll get another shot elsewhere on loan, but his young career is now defined by his bratty, entitled outburst.
Final stats: 7 appearances, 7 goals conceded, 3 clean sheets
Grade: F. Not especially good on the field, and way worse off of it.
This was supposed to be a learning year for the 21 year old Roma-born keeper. With Tătăruşanu and Sepe ahead of him, he was probably hoping for an appearance or two, but mostly to soak in the experience while training with a pair of seasoned professionals. Sousa handed him his senior Viola debut in the 4-1 thrashing of Frosinone, subbing him on for Tătăruşanu at the 71' mark. After Sepe's meltdown, he became the number 2, but didn't get back into a match until the final game against Lazio, when Sousa gave him his first Serie A start. Given that the good guys scored 4 goals in that one, too, maybe Lezzerini's the secret weapon in attack the club needs. Anyways, it was thought that Corvino, who originally brought young Luca into the Primavera, was angling for him to win the backup job next season. However, the advent of Bartłomiej Drągowski has pushed him to the fringes again, with a loan or, if the player and his agent decide it's better for him, an outright sale; several Serie B teams are already looking to snap him up, but things remain cordial between the sides, so he may end up on loan to prove that he belongs back in Corvino's plans.
Final stats: 2 appearances (1 start), 3 goals conceded
Grade: C+. Hard to get a read on him, but actually showed well in his limited minutes; the goals weren't really his fault.
The 17 year old Apulian started the year splitting time with Artem Makarov with the Primavera, but Sepe's idiocy elevated him to the matchday squad for the last 12 fixtures, although he didn't make any appearances with the senior side. That hasn't stopped teams like Manchester United from sniffing around him, although he and his agent say that he's happy to stay with Fiorentina. He signed an extension last month that'll keep him in Florence until 2019, and he's a candidate to head to Serie D or the Lega Pro next year on loan.
Final stats: N/A
The 18 year old Polish keeper is the first player to join Fiorentina under the second Corvino regime. He's been the starter at Jagiellonia Białystok for the past 2 seasons, and has starred for the Poland youth international sides; the Polish FA are in no hurry to break him into the senior side due to the talent that's already there. He cost the Viola a relatively hefty €3 million and signed a 4 year contract, but the step up in quality from the Ekstraklasa to Serie A is, with respect, considerable. He may need a year or two before he's ready take over as the full-fledged number one, but he's one of the most highly-rated teenage goalkeepers in the world, so he could wind up being a real steal.
Final stats: N/A