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Riccardo Saponara: Preview

A midfielder with all the promise in the world

ACF Fiorentina v Empoli FC - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

With the recent departures of much of the Fiorentina midfield, Riccardo Saponara will have a chance to prove his worth in 2017. After coming over on loan from Empoli at the January transfer window, Saponara has had a mixed career in Florence. That really describes his whole career though. Riccardo Saponara is widely regarded as a player with all the potential in the world. Unfortunately, he has had trouble putting that potential into consistent production. So far in his career Saponara’s greatest success has come right down the road at Empoli. Now he is given an opportunity to show his true potential as part of the Fiorentina attack.

Saponara is widely regarded as an attacking midfielder, a spot that was occupied in various forms by Borja Valero, Federico Bernardeschi, Josip Illicic, and Matias Vecino. Now that all of those players will be wearing other colors than purple next season, Saponara should be the first choice attacking midfielder. With that comes great playmaking and scoring responsibilities. In his ten official games with the club Saponara only has scored one goal. That is unacceptable for a starting attacking midfielder. We can chalk up some of the flaws to learning a new team and a new system, but at the end of the day football is still football.

Going into the season, there are a lot of unknowns in Florence. The team needs a steady presence at the top of the midfield and Saponara will get the first opportunity to have that presence. We will see how he works with new mates in the midfield and the old guard up front. Maybe this is the year that Riccardo Saponara puts it all together on the pitch. He is 25 years old and running out of time to prove he is the elite footballer many thought he was.