Sunderland-owned defender wins plaudits for Viola debut

Modibo Diakitè's first game on loan to Fiorentina ended in defeat, but the Sunderland-owned defender put in a good performance.

Fiorentina were beaten 2-1 by Udinese in a Coppa Italia semi-final first leg but Modibo Diakitè's maiden Viola outing was well received.

Diakitè has no shortage of experience in Italian football having played for Lazio for seven years between 2006 and 2013 when he signed for Sunderland on a free transfer.

Having struggled to make his presence felt in the Premier League, the towering defender was sent out on loan to Fiorentina until the end of the season.

Vincenzo Montella opted to start Diakitè away to Udinese alongside Gonzalo Rodriguez, Stefan Savic and Manuel Pasqual in the Fiorentina back line.

The Tuscans came away defeated thanks to a flowing move that allowed Antonio Di Natale to score and a fantastic strike from substitute Luis Muriel.

However, Diakitè looked authoritative and at home in the Fiorentina defence and Florence newspaper La Nazione praised his efforts.

The paper stated that Diakitè looked in good shape and had quickly adapted to the team's tactics and although his first touch wasn't always perfect he showed dynamism and a will to come forward.

Diakitè is expected to make his full debut when Fiorentina take on Atalanta on Saturday afternoon.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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