Gaetano Castrovilli has been a revelation for Fiorentina this season. His recent call-up to the Italian national team shows how crucial he has been for La Viola this season. It is little surprise that bigger clubs have now begun to circle around him.
It is rare that the attention has come away from Federico Chiesa to Castrovilli. But it has been deserved, considering how the midfielder was playing in Serie B over the last two seasons. Castrovilli has certainly come leaps and bounds.
The interest from Inter (Corriere dello Sport via Calciomercato) in recent days would be encouraging for the player. It would encourage him to do better and improve.
Castrovilli did pen a new deal at the Artemio Franchi earlier this season. Fiorentina knew the player is special and handed him the new deal very early. The way Vincenzo Montella has got Fiorentina to play has got the best out of the Italian.
In Montella’s 3-4-1-2 shape, Castrovilli has been playing as the most advanced midfielder. Playing behind two false nines in Franck Ribery and Chiesa, he is seen closing out passing lanes, winning the ball back and taking it forward.
In 12 appearances, he has found the back of the net three times and has two assists. The idea is to use his adept technical ability on the ball and his work rate off the ball to cut out opposition attacks. He allows Ribery and Chiesa to get into the play, as Fiorentina often play a 3-4-3.
Castrovilli is a keen dancer and has been practising the skills since he was a child. He still takes dance classes and that helped his technical ability. He is hailed for how magical he can be on the ball.
Those twinkle toes abilities and his positioning on the pitch make Fiorentina a threat on the counter-attack. Playing alongside two false nines allows the three to close out the opposition midfield.
While this has brought the best out of Castrovilli, Antonio Conte has done so for Stefano Sensi. The summer signing from Sassuolo has played as the most advanced midfielder in the 3-5-2, despite being a defensive midfielder originally.
In that attacking position, Sensi has played only six games this season. But he had found the back of the net three times and has two assists. He has the work rate to cover ground and has the ability on the ball to bring the strikers into play.
But ever since Sensi sustained an injury against Juventus, Inter haven’t been the same. Their unbeaten run fell apart after Sensi got injured and since then, they have had much closer games than they ever did before the Juve loss.
It shows how important Sensi is to Conte. After the recent 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, Conte was open about the lack of depth in the current Inter side.
He said (SportMediaset via FootballItalia):
“We have too limited a squad to face both Serie A and Champions League football this season. I mean limited both in terms of numbers and quality. Some players have to be on the field constantly and in the long run, you do pay for that. I am furious, because this cancels out all the good work.”
It clearly shows that the problems are obvious and out in the open. Inter can’t win the Serie A without depth in midfield. Now that Nicolo Barella is also out due to a knee injury, there is an even lesser depth in that side.
To get over that, Inter have to spend in midfield. Brozovic has been playing every game and at some point, he will get fitness issues. Inter do have Matias Vecino, Borja Valero and Roberto Galgiardini. But they don’t have as much quality to lift them up to a Scudetto-winning side.
That is why a player like Castrovilli will be key. He would be a like-for-like replacement for Sensi.