So lets face it, we are Gonzalo-less. Yes, we have Astori, but, you know, yeah. Step forward Vitor Hugo. The 26 year old Brazilian joined in the off-season for around €7.7 million, and boy will he be throw in the deep end.
The centre back, formerly of Palemeiras, was one of the early signings this summer, with the board evidently eager to snap him up. Fiorentina were not the only team in for Hugo however, rumours suggest Inter Milan were also interested in the defender; the fact Corvino managed to snap him up suggests either Inter gave up or Fiorentina out-muscled the Nerazzuri, in which case it was likely the former.
Nonetheless, we should be excited about Hugo. The defender was reportedly close to a call up to the Seleçaõ, and that says something. Coming in at 6'1, the defender certainly isn't Nikola Milenković, but what he may lack in height he makes up for in defensive ability. The club’s determination to land his signature gives a good signal that the board has faith in their man, and Hugo will be given his acid test against Inter in Matchday one... it doesn't get much tougher.
Much of the interest will be to see how he meshes and compliments the assured Davide Astori who he will most likely partner. If the Brazilian manages to gel with the captain amidst their mutual shift away from a three man defence, La Viola could have a settled and consistent defence, something the Gigliati certainly lacked under Sousa.
Here’s to praying that Hugo settles in nicely. Pressure on his position in the shape of the man-mountain that is Milenković should spur him on, but in the meanwhile, keep and eye on Hugo. He may not be Gonzalo, but he may be a darn good defender.