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Luigi Sepe explodes over Fiorentina benching, looks set for Napoli return

The Napoli-owned goalkeeper declared his time in Florence "morally over" on social media, and it looks like Fiorentina agrees.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Last week in the first leg of Fiorentina's Europa League tie with Tottenham Hotspur, Ciprian Tatarusanu was given the start in goal. That was somewhat unusual, as until then Napoli loanee goalkeeper Luigi Sepe had started every single Europa League fixture for Fiorentina, totaling six of the just seven matches Sepe has played for the Viola this season. While that may not seem too crazy -- Tottenham are a tough opponent, after all, so Fiorentina playing their main goalkeeper seems warranted -- it apparently came as a major surprise to Sepe.

That surprise ultimately turned to anger, which was unleashed through a since-deleted Instagram post where Sepe lashed out harshly at Fiorentina. He called his time in Florence "morally over," and apologized to his wife and agent for fighting them for the move despite their advice for him to stay put in Naples instead of wasting his time with Fiorentina. His loan club responded by promptly dropping him from their matchday squads, not including him for their weekend tilt with Atalanta or their trip to England for what wound up a heavy defeat to Tottenham in the second leg of their Europa League tie.

It's fairly obvious from these events that Sepe is slated for a return to Naples this summer, rather than Fiorentina buying him outright as had been believed to be their plan as recently as a month ago. Sepe's agent, for his part, has confirmed that assumption.

Sepe made a mistake [going to Fiorentina].

In June he will return to Napoli. In Italy people slaughter players as soon as they make mistakes, even if they are young.

-Translated quote source: Football Italia

It's a shame that things worked out so poorly for Sepe in Florence. A year ago he was riding high on the back of tremendous form in goal for Empoli, but Napoli bringing in Pepe Reina to start in goal, plus their decision to bring in Gabriel on loan from AC Milan left him no place in the squad. It looked like he would be given the chance to usurp Tatarusanu in goal for Fiorentina, but despite a strong pre-season showing and good form in the few matches he was allowed to play, it never really looked like Paulo Sousa seriously considered making Sepe his starter.

With Reina still in the team next season, Sepe won't have a place to start and get crucial playing time next season, but with Gabriel looking unlikely to stay in Naples and the status of Rafael Cabral completely up in the air, Sepe has a strong chance to be Napoli's main reserve in the coming year. The chance for him to learn from Reina, a goalkeeper who he profiles similarly to in terms of how he plays, would be invaluable, and Napoli should be able to find him enough playing time to keep him moving forward in his development.

His current situation is a mess and it's a shame that Napoli can't bring him back now, but at least the path for Sepe's future is starting to become clearer. Let's just hope there's fewer bumps in the road from here on out.