We were genuinely excited when Marco Benassi made a completely unexpected move from Torino to Fiorentina a few days ago. After all, he’s a heck of a player with an impressive pedigree: a former Inter Milan youth product, he spent a couple of productive years with Torino before running afoul of Siniša Mihajlović. Benassi’s also made 27 appearances for the Azzurini, scoring 6 goals and sporting the armband at the U21 Euros this summer.
He’s a wonderful passer of the ball and packs a powerful shot from distance, notching 5 goals in 28 Serie A appearances last term. He’s also a creative passer, happy to switch the play, keep possession by pinging the ball around the midfield, or slip in the killer pass. He’s also plenty sturdy defensively, boasting a strong tackle, a good reading of the game, and a tremendous reading of the game going backwards and forwards.
The biggest question of the summer for Fiorentina may be where Benassi will play. He seems a natural fit in the pivot of Stefano Pioli’s 4-2-3-1; think Lucas Biglia at Lazio. However, Pioli also seems to like moving a midfielder into the number 10 spot more than a forward—see Stefano Mauri, João Mário, and Marcelo Brozović—and Benassi seems like the best fit in that position if Matías Fernández doesn’t cut the mustard.
Regardless of where on the pitch he plays, though, we think that Benassi is going to be one of Fiorentina’s most important player this season. His technique, composure, and braininess would slot right into most teams in the world, and while he won’t entirely mitigate the losses of Borja Valero and Matías Vecino, he could wind up being a wonderful mix between them.