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Pioggia Viola : AFC Fiorentina

Started on 20 November 2019 by OohAhCantona
Latest Reply on 3 September 2020 by OohAhCantona
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Another set of smart designs. Looking forward to what the sponsorship will look like in twelve months time if rumours are to be believed.
2020-07-03 18:31#275475 ScottT : Another set of smart designs. Looking forward to what the sponsorship will look like in twelve months time if rumours are to be believed.

Sometimes I feel like the only reason I want to go through a decade of games is to make these kits.

2024-25 PRESEASON : TIRED LEGS AND HIGH SPIRITS


Vincenzo Montella got a bit of a break as the club decided to stay in Italy with an avalanche of international obligations coming at the team. Silandro in Trentino-Alto Adige, near the border of Liechtenstein, provided the perfect relaxing backdrop for a training camp more notable for its level of relaxation than anything else. A deep run in the Champions League and commitments in the Euro and Olympics would drive Montella to give his players the rest they desperately need, there is a risk Fiorentina could head into the season exhausted.

The 2024 Euro in Germany would see Italy turn into a mini-Fiorentina side with Roberto Cannata, Daniele Albano, Degnand Wilfriend Gnonto, Eugenio Barzini, Silvino Dante, and Maximo Fazio all making the roster. France would take home their third title after a tense shootout with the hosts, Italy’s failure to make the final after losing 1-0 to Germany cost Simone Inzaghi his job immediately following the tournament. You could hear checkbooks opening around Europe as Fiorentina players took home a few awards and earned a place on the Euro Dream Team. Pelayo Morilla would win the Golden Boot and Best Player awat with (5) goals, (4) assists and an impressive 8.54 average rating. Hélder Lavado would only make things worse for Gnonto by winning the Euro Best Young Player award in a starring role for Portugal, and Maxence Caqueret would set PSG’s mouth watering after being elected to the Dream Team.

A few players barely had time to rest as the Olympics kicked off and Lavado did his thing again by winning the best player award (over Florentino Firenze and Morilla) and the Golden Boot with (7) goals. He would beat out Morilla and Curicó for that last honor, more Fiorentina players getting the attention of bigger clubs. Souleymane Bamba would also shine for Ivory Coast and take home the Best GK award.

Friendly (A) : Mainz 05 0 - Fiorentina 1
Friendly (N) : Fiorentina 1 - Hellas Verona 0
Friendly (N) : Venezia 1 - Fiorentina 7
Friendly (H) : Fiorentina 6 - Athletic Bilbao 0
UEFA Super Cup (N) : Milan 0 - Fiorentina 1

A number of tougher-than-expected wins as Montella threw out a lot of U-20 players to avoid grinding the team down. Going the whole preseason without allowing a goal is still impressive, it shows how good the youth system is which will be important when bigger clubs come calling for I Viola’s best. Roberto Cannata and Nicolò Branzino would make Montella’s nightmare a reality when both of them would go down with a sports hernia before the Mainz 05 game. They would get quite a bit of time to relax in Silandro, but this would hang over Montella’s head all summer.


Euro Dream Team


Olympic Dream Team
A nice win in the Super Cup. Always good to get your season off on the right foot.

I THINK WE’RE TURNING AFRICAN, I REALLY THINK SO

Fiorentina’s expanded scouting and data analysis abilities were pointed at France and Belgium, their newest Belgium based scout was busy, and it turned up a bunch of dual-citizens mostly born in Africa. There were a number of players identified, but the price tag came in a little too high and Daniele Pradè had to get his work done with just a few clubs. In terms of purchases, they were limited to youth players as the club tried to deal with some financial issues outside of transfer income. A number of massive contracts were handed out so the only place to cut costs was with the swelling ranks of players in the U-20 squad.

The prices being thrown at Fiorentina were frankly insane, and in some cases it’s crazy to think that the team turned them down. The most dizzying offer(s) came from PSG as they tried to land Alberigo Maldini for £107M and then upped it to £130M when they were told he wasn’t for sale. Talles Magno (Manchester City, £82M), Wilfried Degnand Gnonto (Manchester City, £79M), Daniel Maldini (Arsenal, £65M), João Mubenga (Bayern Munich, £64M), Cristiano Romário (Real Madrid, £61M), Max Wijngaarde (Bayern Munich, £45M), and Mamadou Kanté (Bayern Munich, £37.5M) were also subjects of rejected bids that left Montella’s head spinning. Manchester City pulled an Inter Milan and offered £36.5M for LB Igor Ferrara, a confusing bid that Pradè was happy to accept considering the club was likely going to sell him later.


Headed for a big payday soon, but not yet…

Senior / Major Transfers (Out)
Igor Ferrara (LB, Manchester City) £36.5M

Senior Transfers (In)
-

Final Transfer List (Impact Signings)
Alfa Baldé (RB, AJ Auxerre - Senegal) £2.8M
Simone Cavina (CB, Sampdoria - Italy) £1.7M
Florent Parent (LW, Toulouse FC - France) £600K
Maxence Lallemand (CAM, AS Béziers - France) £250K
Junior Kasongo (LW, AS Saint-Étienne - DR Congo) £200K
Prince Kabongo (RW, AJ Auxerre - Senegal) £125K
Geslin Mbala (CF, Club Brugge - DR Congo) £110K
Francis Itou (RB, Club Brugge - Congo) £100K
Sérgio de Holanda (CF, Maritimo - Brazil) £100K
Moussa Dip (GK, Lorient - Senegal) £85K
Paterne Matondo (CB, AS Saint-Étienne - DR Congo) £65K

Not a lot of signings, but some with real upside. Prince Kabongo is already being called the next Abdou Fall, and the two might be regular international players soon enough. He’s listed as a RW but he can play both sides very well, he really should have commanded a much higher fee (some say upwards of £15M) but he had a £125K release clause that Fiorentina were more than happy to trigger. He’s very young so it could be a while, but if I Viola have a compliment (or replacement) for Fall it would be a huge win.
Glad to see you've managed to keep hold of your squad for the upcoming season.

2024-25 FIRST HALF : DEFENDING THE THRONE

Vincenzo Montella walks into a season with a monumental task in front of him, he has shown that Fiorentina have the quality to keep winning Serie A but the odds are against them for keeping the Champions League trophy in Florence. Fiorentina managed to maintain an exciting young squad that figures to be around for a few years so the window is still open, but they stood still while the traditional powers poured cash into getting better.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW

GROUP A
Manchester United (England)
Fiorentina (Italy)
Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
RB Salzburg (Austria)

Either Montella has terrible luck or UEFA rigged this thing to keep Fiorentina from crashing the party again. I Viola get thrown into the ultimate Group of Death for this year and earn a rematch with Manchester United. Borussia Dortmund will be hard, it’s likely the fixtures against them will decide who advances, and RB Salzburg won’t just roll over. RB Salzburg are well known by Daniele Pradè, the Austrians might want to get revenge for having so many scouts buzzing around their players, but odds are Fiorentina will handle them easily.

The rest of Serie A did well outside of Juventus, they didn’t qualify, and there is a chance Italy is represented well in the next round. Inter (Arsenal, Celtic, Real Sociedad), Cagliari (Atlético Madrid, Porto, Olympiakos), Napoli (Manchester City, Mainz 05, KRC Genk), and AC Milan (Real Madrid, Ajax, PAOK) all ended up in groups they could get out of with Cagliari having the most trouble. Without a roster full of Fiorentina players they will have trouble managing Serie A and the Champions League.

MATCH(ES) OF THE FIRST HALF

Serie A (H) : Fiorentina 8 - Sassuolo 0/u]


I Viola came out swinging and found that few teams in Serie A or the Champions League were able to put up much of a fight. Big wins marked the opening of the league and the month of September before a 1-1 draw at Inter appeared to slow them down, but Montella managed to channel that frustration into a 3-0 win over RB Salzburg to take control of Group A and an 8-0 beating of Sassuolo. The scoreline wasn’t as impressive as you might think, especially since Hellas Verona would end up on the wrong end of an 8-0 result in December, the real news here was Abdou Fall hitting (5) in a single game.

Fall’s (5) goals would help fuel a perfect 10.0 rating, taking the PoM, and make him the first player to score (5) goals in a Serie A game since Miroslav Klose did it in the 2012-13 season. Fall fell a single goal short of the joint record held by Silvio Piola (who did it against Fiorentina) and Omar Sívori. This game had the feeling of a coming out party, Fall looks like he’s ready to fulfill the promise shown last season on his way to being one of the best players at the club. The win also marked a (106) game unbeaten streak in Serie A, something that was unthinkable when Montella took over.

Champions League (A) : Manchester United 1 - Fiorentina 2


Fiorentina’s surprise 3-0 win over Manchester United at Artemio Franchi seemed like it could be the game of the year, but United played so poorly that Thomas Tuchel spent most of the postgame press conference ripping into his squad. A trip to Old Trafford was going to be much different, not just because Tuchel made it clear he expected more from his squad but also because this fixture would essentially decide the group. A win for Fiorentina would basically lock in the group and a loss for United would put them in a position where they might need a big win against RB Salzburg in their final group game.

“We can’t leave this to them, to beat Dortmund, we have to win.” was all Tuchel had to say before the game when asked about how important a result would be.

Tuchel would have his opening as Montella would be without Pelayo Morilla and Maxence Caqueret and United would be at full strength, Old Trafford would also help as United have been tough to beat at home this year. Tuchel would use a 4-1-2-3 with a lot of responsibility on Rúben Neves in the destroyer role. Neves would be lined up across from youngster Nicolò Branzino thanks to Morilla’s injury, and that would turn out to be a roadblock for Fiorentina. Montella would get lucky just 11’ into the game when Daniele Albano would hammer one in from outside the box for a 1-0 lead, now the pressure was on Tuchel to attack instead of trying to slow down Fiorentina. Sebastiano Esposito would claw one back for the hosts to breathe life back into the team, Montella was not happy with the way Fiorentina let United pass around in the goal area for an easy tap in.

The second half was about as exciting as a scoreless half could be, United had the momentum despite ceding possession to Fiorentina. Neves would have an excellent game while Fiorentina struggled to control the midfield, Branzino was almost a non-factor in the offense as Fiorentina was forced to the flanks. With stoppage time ticking down it looked like Tuchel was going to get away with a point before United were on the wrong end of a United-esque finish. Branzino, under the thumb of Neves all game, broke away from him and ran onto a deftly placed through ball from Talles Magno to basically tap the ball in. It was a crushing loss for the hosts, the win would clinch the group for Fiorentina on (15) points and leave United tied with Dortmund on (7). Perhaps a Champions League repeat isn’t such a long shot.

NO CONTEST

A Fiorentina-friendly blend of a struggling league and a quality squad have created a situation where I Viola are already running away with Serie A. Cagliari finish the first half in 2nd, Inter and Juventus are outside European qualification, and Roma is moving in the wrong direction. Fiorentina are already (12) points clear in first and have a goal differential equal to the next three teams combined, the league is so bad that the Italian media spend more time talking about the Champions League than Serie A. Even the usual super powers in big media markets are starting to see the attention shift to Florence, the Italian league is starting to sink into another crisis.

Outside of the team winning so easily the big story would be the ever improving form of Abdou Fall. The (5) goal performance was a real eye opener and he’s kept it up over the first half. Fiorentina have managed to collect goals from all over the team but Fall really stands out with (17) across all competitions, in comparison nobody else on the squad has double digits with Hélder Lavado next in line with (8). Fall is also (6) clear in Serie A with (16) of his (17) coming in the league, Italy made be struggling but Fall is definitely rising to the top.



FIRST HALF AWARDS & PLAUDITS

In what is becoming a regular occurrence Fiorentina would dominate the Serie A Team of the Year, after the past few seasons it isn’t much of a shock. The team is killing the rest of the league and Montella seems to bring out the best in his players. Perhaps it’s a comment on the strength of Serie A, only Bartłomiej Drągowski managed to make the FIFPro Team of the Year despite not being elected to the Serie A list over Maximo Fazio on loan at Cagliari. Most of the players that came in 2nd or 3rd are Fiorentina players either at the club or on loan. It’s starting to look like the whole league is turning purple.


Serie A Head Coach of the Year : Vincenzo Montella
European Golden Boy : Daniele Albano - (10) Goals, (6) Assists
FIFA Best U-21 : Abdou Fall
FIFA Best GK : Bartłomiej Drągowski
Serie A GK : Maximo Fazio (Cagliari Loan)
Serie A Defender : Federico Marino
Serie A Midfielder : Franck Blanc
Serie A Striker : Degnand Wilfried Gnonto


FIFPro Team of the Year

INJURY REPORT

Fiorentina being able to sleepwalk through the league is also a factor of how well they have managed to build depth. A number of injuries knocked players out for a decent amount of time, but none of these dented their performance on the field. In September and October Pelayo Morilla and Degnand Wilfried Gnonto would be ruled out for (3) weeks with calf strains, the Morilla would be out again in November with a twisted ankle. The worst injury was Maxence Caqueret spraining his right knee ligaments in November, right after Morilla’s second injury, and losing (6) weeks of the season. Being without Morilla and Caqueret forced Montella to juggle players, but with no Champions League games to play and a holiday break looming those (6) weeks were more like (3). Federico Marino would suffer a sports hernia in December, losing (4) weeks, but like Caqueret the schedule helped reduce the impact.
Easy as you like.

TRANSFER WINDOW : BREAKING THE BANK

Business as usual in Fiorentina as the squad was set in the summer with no need to buy anyone new. The team would need to fend off some stunning offers for their players, one that would cause the media to label Montella “insane” for passing on. Fiorentina is focused on the Champions League and Daniele Pradè has made it a policy not to sell senior squad players during the January window in recent years, at least one offer put this to the test.

The boot finally dropped with one player after Barcelona lodged a £41.5M bid for Daniel Maldini that Fiorentina was quick to reject. Mamadou Kanté saw a similar bid (£41M) from Real Madrid that was also quickly rejected, Kanté is too good for Montella to let go for anything less than £100M. Speaking of £100M bids, Manchester City went all in on Maxence Caqueret with an offer that set the internet on fire. Pep Guardiola was apparently behind a £121M bid for the French midfielder who PSG has been sniffing around, it’s unclear if this was some kind of pissing contest with PSG but Montella wasn’t interested.


So much money and nowhere to spend it!

Senior / Major Transfers (Out)
None

Senior Transfers (In)
None

Final Transfer List (Impact Signings)
Laurent Félix (LW, AS Monaco - France) £19.5M
Matar Kassé (CM, Gazélec Ajaccio - Senegal) £350K

A return to AS Monaco, this time with more money, was more successful. Félix is the most expensive youth player Fiorentina have purchased since Montella arrived and ranks as their third biggest transfer of all time after spending £23M on Luca Pellegrini and £21.5M on Maxence Caqueret, the fact that the team landed Talles Magno for £17M should indicate how confident ownership is in Félix’s potential. Speaking of Talles Magno, this purchase may be the club throwing up a red flag on the LW position as inside sources believe that the Brazilian and Daniel Maldini are going to be heading out of town on big money deals. There are rumors that Maldini used the Barcelona offer to extract a promise to be sold after the season. No matter how good the club feels about Félix, he may be a panic buy fueled by a massive transfer budget.
Hopefully Felix can prove his worth when opportunity allows him to and show that he isn't a panic buy at all.
2020-07-26 00:45#276569 ScottT : Hopefully Felix can prove his worth when opportunity allows him to and show that he isn't a panic buy at all.

I feel silly trying to be more realistic with my transfer policies while I have hundreds of millions in my transfer budget.

2024-25 SECOND HALF : ACHIEVING THE UNTHINKABLE (AGAIN)

Flipping to the first page of a new calendar would bring little surprise in Italy, the way Fiorentina finished the first half put them as exceedingly heavy favorites to win Serie A for the 4th year in a row. The media found much more to say about the race to finish in Champions League qualification as Fiorentina continued to pull away from the rest of Italy. Perhaps if Fiorentina were Juventus it would have been more interesting, but many were still curious to see if Fiorentina could keep the Champions League trophy in Florence.

MATCH(ES) OF THE SECOND HALF[

Serie A (A) : Juventus 0 - Fiorentina 4[


Hardly a surprising result with the way Fiorentina have been playing, with Juventus still struggling to find their previous form, but it sure felt like a passing of the torch for the top dog in Italy. Juventus have held a permanent saddle on the coaching carousel since Maurizio Sarri was fired in 2023. Miroslav Klose has been named interim manager twice and stayed when Massimiliano Allegri returned for this season. Even Allegri didn’t have the answer as Juventus seems to be stuck outside Champions League qualification.

“We are in different places, but playing in Turin can turn things around. They want to win for more than just the points.” Montella was wary of a trip to Turin even though he’s been nearly unbeatable there in the past few years.

Despite a roster still littered with big names (Vinícius Júnior, Erling Haaland, Matthijs de Ligt) only one of those isn’t on loan (de Ligt) and Allegri struggled to get any traction in this matchup. Florentino Firenze essentially put the game away 7’ in with a long shot from outside the box that Wojciech Szczesny had little chance to stop. Federico Marino duplicated the goal from the right side at 17’ for a 2-0 lead and a symbol of where these teams have been headed, the wing backs are starting to look like the best players Italy has and the future of the national squad. Juventus is still starting Leonardo Bonucci.

Degnand Wilfired Gnonto would score just before the half and Pelayo Morilla would add another at 70’, well past the point Juventus looked like they had stopped caring. To be blunt, this was a pitiful performance for a fallen giant and the home crowd let them know with a shower of whistles and a few objects thrown on the field. Sander Berge was the only Juventus player to rate above 6.9 as Fiorentina’s entire squad rated above 7.0 with (5) players above 8.0. It’s hard to believe Juventus would barely be a speed bump for Fiorentina on their way to another league title.

Champions League (N) : Fiorentina 4 - Barcelona 1[


The road to the Champions League final seemed like something straight out of Dante’s Inferno. I Viola fans used their run of fixtures after the group stage as proof that UEFA didn’t want them to make it to the final, an outlandish conspiracy theory Montella wasn’t particularly interested in.

“Yes, it was hard *laughing*, I was wondering if I had pissed off God” said Montella when asked about the gauntlet they had to go through to make it here.

Fiorentina would have to go through Real Madrid, PSG, and Manchester United (again) to earn a spot against Barcelona. To make things even worse the game would be held at Camp Nou to make this a true home game for Barcelona. Manager Jesse Marsch would be looking for revenge and Montella would need to avoid a repeat of the final against Liverpool. Barcelona would enter as slight favorites, but most believed that if the game was held elsewhere the odds would flip in Fiorentina’s favor.

The odds makers would look smart yet again just 3’ into the game when Montella’s usually stout defense surrendered to Abel Ruiz. Ilaix Moriba would cross the ball deep into the box for Abel Ruiz who put a solid shot on goal that Bartłomiej Drągowski was more than ready for. Unfortunately the Fiorentina captain couldn’t get a hold of the ball and the deflection landed right in Abel Ruiz’s path for an easy tap in from the right. Camp Nou exploded and then Marsch’s 4-1-2-3 set about doing it’s job with ex-Fiorentina player Filip Jagiello in the anchorman role. I Viola would have trouble dominating the midfield and it would turn into a 1-0 halftime lead for the hosts.

Montella opted not to change his tactics, but he certainly gave his players an earful at the half. Even though Fiorentina often come back late thanks to fitness and piling on shots, Montella wasn’t about to let his players off without a hairdryer treatment that would make Sir Alex Ferguson proud. Hard to tell if the yelling or the tactics worked, but Barcelona melted away after the half. Abdou Fall would score at 53’ from the right side of the goal area after Maximilian Wöber attempted to head a Firenze cross clear but only managed to glance it with the top of his head and tee up an easy shot for Fall. Morilla would score on a free kick at 62’ to put I Viola up 2-1 and take all the air out of Camp Nou outside of the purple end of the field. The goal provided an opening for Montella to remedy an obvious problem and take off Gnonto. Gnonto had been less than a non-factor all game, regularly wasting opportunities. The final straw came when he chose not to pass the ball to Fall on a quick break, a pass that would have been a big scoring opportunity, and instead tried to run through the middle of Barcelona’s defense only to be surrounded and dispossessed. Gnonto was clearly unhappy with the sub, ignoring the oncoming Hélder Lavado and throwing a water bottle after getting yelled at by Montella. Lavado would prove Montella right at 73’ in a similar scenario but he would pick out a run by Fall and play a great through ball to allow him to victimise Wöber again and slot the ball in the left side of the goal from the penalty spot. 73’ down and Barcelona’s 1-0 lead had crumbled into a 3-1 deficit and by that point they didn’t look like they were ever coming back. I Viola would pour some salt in the host’s wounds when Fall would make his way back to the penalty spot at 90+5’ after a lengthy VAR check of a Nélson Semedo tackle on Jude Bellingham at the edge of the box. Holding up the game so Fall could record a hat trick well into stoppage time seemed like a cruel joke on the Barcelona fans, at least those that hadn’t already started leaving.

Fiorentina would hoist their second Champions League trophy in a row, this time doing it mostly with ease and style. Aeroplanino has truly taken off, now the task of staying in flight will take everything Montella has.

FLORENCE ON TOP?

Fiorentina managed to make this season one of the most boring in recent memory for Serie A fans. Everyone knew I Viola would win their 4th in a row and they made it official with a 5-0 win over Napoli in the first game of April. Fiorentina’s romp through Serie A would have been joyless if it wasn’t for the level of excitement and teamwork shown by the players, across both squads players were having banner years. Abdou Fall had the breakout season the team has been waiting for with (37) goals and (10) assists across all competitions, (30) of those goals came in Serie A for an easy scoring title as Inter’s Timothée Henry registered (23). Hélder Lavado would pip Gnonto for second on the team with (19) goals to Gnonto’s (15) and Daniel Maldini would have the season people were waiting for with (13) goals and (13) assists from the second squad. Montella’s well-oiled machine produced (9) players who scored (10) or more goals, an easy way to assert yourself at home and abroad.

On the pitch there was only one real speed bump; Derby dell'Appennino. With the league just about locked up Fiorentina traveled to Renato Dall'Ara for a derby that has lost some life as I Viola have taken off. The hosts managed the perfect storm and soured what would have been an invincible season. A 1-0 loss to a team that would finish 16th was as perplexing as it was astounding, Fiorentina would get off (29) shots with (15) of them making keeper Marko Malenica work hard all game. Malencia worked so hard that he would log a 7.9 rating and take home the PoM award, while on the other end Bartłomiej Drągowski would face a single shot all game (the only one Bologna took) and let it in. Alexander Sørloth’s 69’ goal amid some questionable defending would be enough to win a game they had no business being in, but that’s what makes football so great.


This one has lost some luster over the years.

The only real downside to the close of the season was Degnand Wilfried Gnonto absolutely forgetting his form and turning the whole situation into a mess that culminated in his substitution in the Champions League final. At one point Gnonto went (10) hours of game time without scoring before he would break the drought in a game against Parma. His attempts to get back on the scoresheet seemed to exacerbate the problem, his display against Barcelona wasn’t the first time he tried to run through a defense and score by himself. It’s no mystery why Pelayo Morilla didn’t register many assists with his primary outlet having such a down second half, at one point the two even got into a minor scuffle on the field over a wasted opportunity. There are other reasons Morilla’s (9) assists, compared to (13) last year, was disappointing but the issue with Gnonto made it look worse.


INJURY REPORT

More injury stability, at least compared to the rest of Serie A, helped Montella get Fiorentina to the finish line once again. The month of March turned out to be particularly rough, but the team was able to handle it. Silvino Dante would miss (2) weeks in January with a pulled abdominal muscle before an injury free February gave way to March. Xabier Agirre would miss (4) weeks, just about the whole month, with a twisted ankle and Roman Mexès would lose (2) weeks with a stomach virus. Alberigo Maldini would miss nearly (2) weeks with a pulled back muscle, putting some serious strain on Montella’s back line, and then Pelayo Morilla and Mamadou Kanté would both be ruled out for a week with the flu. After that mess it was clear sailing until Florentino Firenze pulled an ankle ligament in April on Italy duty, his (2) weeks out weren’t so bad and he was back in time for the tail end of the Champions League.
Fiorentina making their way through the gauntlet and absolutely smashing Barcelona in the final only shows the tremendous quality of both the players and the management.

2024-25 YOUTH INTAKE & U-20 / U-18 PERFORMANCE

Looking back on things, Vincenzo Montella’s first class was an absolute gold mine. Perhaps the bellyaching about the quality of intake over the past few years is being driven by how good that class turned out to be. That first class included Florentino Firenze, Abdou Fall, Alberigo Maldini, and Eugenio Barzini. Two of those players are on their way to Legend status, one of them is looking like a regular for Azzurri (Maldini), and Barzini is starting to sneak his way into the national team discussion. Barzini only stands out as the player who doesn’t get rated very highly but appears to be an excellent inside forward in Montella’s system. That being said, once again the intake falls short of the legendary class of 2019/20, but it’s starting to look like that group was a true Golden Generation.

There isn’t a Firenze or Marino lurking in this class but they did manage to land some very solid organizational depth. Signing three players with second squad to valuable bench player upside could be very important down the road. Montella has been leaning heavily on versatile players he can use regularly without registering them for Serie A or the Champions League.

Abramo Franco (RB/LB - Italy) : Potentially the next Smoke Monday, but with slightly more upside according to scouts. A quick wingback who can play both sides of the field, but is stronger on the right, will need some work on his crossing but looks like a very solid addition. He’s a good tackler but has some issues with positioning that the coaching team is going to focus on, in a few years he could be one of the most promising players in Fiorentina’s youth system.

Hamadou Demba (CM - Senegal) : More Senegalese players, and Demba might be a direct replacement for one already on the senior squad. Much like Birahim Guèye he is a versatile player in midfield with a solid understanding of the game and a natural tendency to be a leader or a good teammate.

Valentino Rubino (CAM - Italy) : A very good looking player, but Fiorentina has been a bit snakebitten with Italian CAM. The system is starting to fill up with CAM that were purchased abroad and the last player to be anointed the next leader of the attack (Nicolò Branzino) hasn’t turned out as well as hoped. Rubino reminds a lot of scouts of Branzino though he’s a little more pass-first than the heavy-shooting Branzino and shows a willingness to defend.Perhaps lower expectations will help Rubino, but he certain has the upside of a senior squad regular as a member of the second squad.

U-20 : The U-20 side becomes the beneficiary of some youth system reorganization as Fiorentina starts to cut back on players. Most of the best prospects have been promoted while the U-18 side takes on a bit of a ‘warm body’ look, this worked out really well for the U-20 side while the U-18 side had a season to forget. The high point of the year came with a 9-0 victory over Lyon in the UEFA Youth League to retain the trophy. Big wins were the norm as I Viola took the Youth Club Invitational with a 7-0 win over Lazio, the International Cup with a 7-1 win over the U-23 Spurs side, and they would retain the U-20 Division 1 title by a (47) point margin. They would also keep the U-20 Cup at home with a modest 2-0 win over Genoa.


Hopefully another trophy will make its home in Florence.

U-18 : Tough year for the youngsters as previously mentioned, this squad has become primarily an U-17 side 16-year olds standing in as veterans. The club is planning a massive sell off of the U-20 side so this group ended up being filled with players too young to go on loan and the youth intake class, there are plenty of rumors (many of them true) about a large crop of incoming players over the summer but that didn’t do much for this crew. They did manage to repeat in the league, but that was the only honor the U-18 side managed.
Seems a decent crop of players in this latest intake.

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