Fiorentina Are A Thrilling Watch In Serie A

Growing up in the nineties I adored watching Italian football and Fiorentina would often catch the eye.

They would have a phenomenal goal machine in Gabriel Batistuta, a creative spark in the majestic Rui Costa, an industrious forward in Luis Oliveira, a dynamic midfielder in Stefan Effenberg, a fine shot-stopper in Francesco Toldo and a crazy flamboyant one off like Edmundo at various points during those years.

They really were a superb team in that decade.

They’ve had some fantastic talent since those days but they have also had some really tough times too.

This season has started brightly for Fiorentina and I can see optimism shining from Tuscany.

The Viola have a manager in Stefano Pioli that seems hungry to prove himself again and is ready to give youth it’s chance.

Fiorentina have a real group of burgeoning young talent that are relishing the opportunities they’re being given at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Playing in an attack-minded 4-3-3 formation seems to suit the young squad too.

Between Giovanni Simeone, Federico Chiesa, Valentin Eysseric and Marko Pjaca, Pioli can pick a fluid front three that can create a host of chances for one another and they also have the ability to score too.

In their opening five Serie A games, Fiorentina have struck eleven goals. Between them; Simeone, Chiesa, Eysseric and Pjaca have scored five of them and created four assists. As a team they’re also hitting around 15.4 shots per game.

The two talents that really stand-out for me are Federico Cheisa and Giovanni Simeone.

Chiesa is a very exciting winger. He can play on either side and use either foot, although he’s currently thriving on the right flank. He’s got the skills to beat players, he particularly likes stepping inside and taking his shot. He’s also a wide-man that likes to take the ball on a dribble and go direct at opposing full-backs.

The twenty year old has scored eleven goals and he’s got eight assists in his first sixty-eight league appearances. That’s a great tally for a young winger and it’s seen him break into the Italian national side.

Argentine striker Simeone is the one that’s asked to play through the middle. While Giovanni’s eyes light up when the ball’s inside the box, the forward is also smart enough to move out to the channels or go deep and then lay it off for a teammate.

He’s a tenacious, combative hitman and he’s also a great finisher with his head. Like Chiesa (who he has a good on-field partnership with) twenty-three year old Simeone has represented his country due to his encouraging Viola form, scoring on his debut for Argentina earlier this month.

I also like the midfield trio of Jordan Veretout, Marco Benassi and Gerson that started in their recent 3-0 win over SPAL. Benassi and Gerson don’t have many complaints when asked to venture forward, while Veretout offers a defensive spine in the engine room and the Frenchman is also efficient when in possession.

Twenty year old defender Nikola Milenkovic has also impressed during this campaign. The Serbian international has played mainly as the club’s right back and he’s doing well in that position. He’s already found the back of the net twice this season, including an absolute stunner against Chievo!

While Fiorentina have been great to watch as they burst forward; with good pace and nice intricate passing, The Viola have also been strong at the back as they’ve only conceded three times thus far.

They’ve got two strong central defenders in Victor Hugo and German Pezzella. The South American duo have both been ever presents this term and are a very capable defensive partnership.

Hugo is a dominating centre-half who will throw his head at crosses and isn’t scared of sticking a foot in (he’s won on average 2.6 tackles per Serie A game). He’s also a defender that will get in the clearance, getting the ball away from his own goal. The Brazilian is smart and quick enough to read the game and come in and make important interceptions.

German is also strong in the air and has won three aerial duels per top flight fixture. The Argentinian is also composed with the ball at his feet and possesses high concentration levels. Can be hard in the tackle and that sometimes get’s him noticed by the officials.

Both twenty-seven year old centre-backs have been terrific with their passes. During the start of this campaign both have managed passing success rates topping 89% and have on average made over fifty passes per game too.

At just €9m, the signing of goalkeeper Alban Lafont could be one of the signings of the summer. The French nineteen year old is a tall and athletic goalie, who has particularly good reflexes. He’s also very strong in one on one situations.

In his first three appearances for The Viola, Alban has conceded just once and his team have won in each occasion he’s played between the sticks. I don’t doubt for a second teams throughout Europe will keep an eye on the young man’s Firenze adventures this year as he has the potential to become one of the best shot-stoppers in the world!

After their most recent win, coach Pioli said this:

“I think this Fiorentina has the quality to play a positive and attacking style of football. We can’t always go at full pelt, but we played with the right determination and mentality. These fans inevitably give us something more when we play at home,”

That must be music to the ears of any Fiorentina fan.

Listen as I’ve already said this Fiorentina side are young, exciting yes, but they’re still a bit rough around the edges. With that in mind, you’re probably going to see some mistakes here and there. But there’s beauty in that inexperience and the imperfection you get from an attacking side still learning their way. You can watch them learn and improve.

They have an endeavour and an energy which is infectious. Plus at the moment it’s working, they’re in third place with three wins in their opening five encounters and only five points off top spot.

So if you’re looking for an enjoyable side that promotes youthful talents and exciting football, I’d advise you to take a look at ACF Fiorentina.

I’m by no means an authority on The Viola, if you’re looking for that I’d point you in the direction of Chloe Beresford (@ChloeJBeresford), she’ll keep you informed with all things Fiorentina and more.  


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