Mario Gomez and Giuseppi Rossi Crucial to Fiorentina's Season

Peter GalindoFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2014

Fiorentina's Giuseppe Rossi celebrates with his German teammate Mario Gomez, right, after scoring, during a Serie A soccer match between Genoa and Fiorentina, at Genoa's Luigi Ferraris Stadium, Italy, Sunday, Sept 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Tano Pecoraro)
Tano Pecoraro/Associated Press

Fiorentina made a big splash last summer when they landed Mario Gomez from Bayern Munich. Gomez and Giuseppe Rossi formed one of the best strike pairings in Serie A on paper. After a tumultuous first season together filled with injuries and disappointment, the forward duo is ready to rebound.

Gomez and Rossi started the Viola's opening match of the 2013-14 Serie A season against Catania. The latter scored in a 2-1 victory, but the former had a solid game despite not finding the back of the net.

The next match saw both forwards produce a cracking performance. Rossi and Gomez both completed braces in a 5-2 win over Genoa.

September 15 was the date that the pair began to experience some difficulties. Gomez suffered knee ligament damage against Cagliari and was expected to sit out the next three months, but he didn't return until February against Inter. The 29-year-old lasted just five more matches and then sustained another injury to his knee.

Rossi's injury was the final nail in the coffin for Fiorentina's chances at a Champions League spot.
Rossi's injury was the final nail in the coffin for Fiorentina's chances at a Champions League spot.Fabrizio Giovannozzi/Associated Press

Rossi picked up the slack during Gomez's first absence. In fact, the Italian led Serie A in scoring until further complications to his previously injured knee essentially ended his campaign.

Rossi ended up missing out on the Italy squad for the World Cup. The 27-year-old played in just four games after he was deemed fit, so it was a possibility that his return to the pitch was premature.  However, this has never been proven.

As of now, both men have put those complications behind them. Considering all of the moves that have transpired in Serie A during the transfer window, Fiorentina find themselves lost in the shuffle.

Juventus remain a strong side, but they are now led by Massimiliano Allegri after former manager Antonio Conte stepped down in July. Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba are still wearing Bianconero, which they're happy about, per Allegri's statements to reporters.

Roma have loaded up their squad to prepare for a serious Scudetto challenge.
Roma have loaded up their squad to prepare for a serious Scudetto challenge.Jim Cowsert/Associated Press

Roma have signed multiple players but have also managed to hold on to hot commodities like Kevin Strootman and Mehdi Benatia thus far.

Napoli didn't go on a shopping spree like last summer, but they're still serious contenders for the Scudetto now that they've had a year to gel.

Inter rebuilt with newly arrived Yann M'Vila and Nemanja Vidic, among others. They should be regarded as a dark-horse competitor to secure a Champions League spot this season.

Lazio has also enjoyed a productive transfer window with new coach Stefano Pioli leading them this year. Their acquisition of Stefan De Vrij signalled their intention to qualify for European competition.

Fiorentina isn't on the radar, which is to their advantage. Rossi will be anxious to prove former Italy manager Cesare Prandelli erred in his decision to snub the striker from the World Cup squad. Gomez appeared in just nine league games in 2013-14, per ESPN FC, so he’ll be motivated to prove his worth. Both players are crucial to Fiorentina’s plans this season.

Another star who will be a big part of Vincenzo Montella's system is Juan Cuadrado. However, he is being pursued by Manchester United and Barcelona, per Teddy Cutler of The Independent. An important meeting between the Fiorentina board and the Colombian winger will take place Friday to address those rumours, per Football Italia.

If Cuadrado remains with the Viola it will be an added boost for the Tuscan side. If both of their top strikers are fit and their most in-demand player stays, Fiorentina supporters can expect their club to surprise the doubters much like Roma did last year.