With the signings that Fiorentina have made recently, fans of the Serie A club will be dreaming of a return to the glory days of when the likes of Gabriel Batistuta and Manuel Rui Costa were part of the side.
Nowhere have they strengthened more than in the attacking department, and they posses a frightening attacking threat which is set to take Italy and Europe by storm.
Having pulled off a remarkable feat in signing the mercurial Giuseppe Rossi for a cut-price €10 million in January, the long-anticipated departure of Stevan Jovetic was a mere footnote at the start of this busy summer transfer window as la Viola beat off a host of top European clubs to land the coveted Mario Gomez.
Generally considered to be one of the world's best in his role, he is a German striker of Spanish origin with proven European and international pedigree, coming into his prime years at the age of 28. Managing an impressive 75 goals in 115 games in his time at Bayern Munich, and touching down after the hugely successful treble winning season with his former club for a fee close to €20 million, this is a player who is used to success, and he will expect nothing less with his new employers.
Many believe that Gomez is a player who relies solely on service from his more creative team mates and is just a pure finisher, unable to take part in build up play or create chances for himself. This should not be an issue however, when we consider the amount of attacking and creative talent at the disposal of his new club.
There will be a lot of attacking wing play as Joaquin and Cuadrado can take advantage of the tall German's aerial ability with good deliveries into the area, and from the midfield more assists are sure to arrive from the hugely talented Borja Valero and the born-again Alberto Aquilani. Further up the pitch, Rossi and Adem Llajic will be looking to aid in Gomez's search for goals in what is a new league for him. He may well find it difficult at first to adapt to life Serie A, but he has managed to win wherever he has played and is surely a guarantee of success.
Rossi on the other hand, who was always destined it seemed to return to the peninsula where he previously plied his trade for Parma in 2007, is much more of a gamble; a gamble which so far appears to have paid off for the Tuscan club. Not wishing to jinx him after two successive anterior cruciate ligament tears which have banished him to the sidelines for coming on to two years, but pre-season has so far seen the Gigliati vindicated in their decision to sign him.
He is a player who will be hungry to get back to his best, and will have a point to prove at the start of the new season. He will no doubt be trying to perform to the levels he did for Villarreal, and in doing so, earn a place in the squad or perhaps a starting berth with la Nazionale in time for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.
It does however remain to be seen if Rossi will return to being the player of old, as Alessandro Del Piero, who suffered a similar misfortune in 1998 was widely considered to have never been the same after his unfortunate injury. These are two players whose names are often mentioned in the same breath due to their fantastic technical qualities and attacking characteristics.
They are similar players, and indeed Rossi has even been earmarked in the past as the heir to the legendary 'Pinturicchio' at Juventus. Rossi will be expected to provide the guile and creativity, supplying Gomez with assists as well as chipping in with a few goals himself. The Rossi-Gomez partnership is very reminiscent of the formidable Del Piero - David Trezeguet partnership which terrorised defences up and down the country after the turn of the century, and it is a partnership which will have Viola fans dreaming of Europe and possibly the Scudetto in the next few seasons.
With these two signings, Fiorentina have potentially managed to assemble a strike force to rival even the best in Europe, and although it is still early days of course, but the partnership is already bearing fruit if pre-season is anything to go by.
We know about Fiorentina's attacking prowess, however it is traditionally the team with the strongest defence which goes on to win the Serie A. With the amount invested and the quality of the current squad, the Tuscan outfit would be disappointed not to finish in the top 3 next season, however with their defence a far cry from that of main rivals Juventus, the Scudetto may just be out of their reach for now.
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