Fiorentina Bound to Climb in Serie A
Influx of new talent should strengthen every position
There has been a different kind of Renaissance taking place in Florence this summer.
Following a three-year dark age without European soccer that reached a low point last spring with a 13th place finish, Fiorentina owners Diego and Andrea Della Valle launched a revival of the Serie A club when they appointed Vincenzo Montella as manager in June.
The three months since have seen footballers flocking to Tuscany to work with the former Roma and Catania boss, who will be expected to both introduce an artful style of soccer at Fiorentina and turn the club into a contender for the European places. And if he can end a 12-year trophy drought while he's at it, even better.
So far no fewer than 13 new players have made their way to Stadio Artemio Franchi ahead of the upcoming Serie A campaign, and their arrivals will surely strengthen the side in every position.
Of course, the introduction of so many new faces can sometimes destabilize a team with an already-entrenched sense of character, but after a tumultuous season that saw the comings and goings of three managers, Fiorentina are looking to create a new identity -- not preserve an old one.
For the club's fans, the changes are reason for excitement. In Ahmed Hegazy and Facundo Roncaglia Fiorentina have acquired a pair of young defenders with tremendous upside, and former Ajax marksman Mounir El Hamdaoui should provide a much-needed shot in the arm up front. Only Chievo, Novara and Cesena scored fewer goals than Fiorentina last term.
In the centre of the park, midfielders Alberto Aquilani and Matias Fernandez will be encouraged to express their artistry while David Pizarro and Borja Valero ensure the ball is moving in the right direction. …