Italian press hail ex-West Ham star Diamanti capable of replacing blockbuster Chelsea signing Cuadrado


Tottenham's Europa League opponents Fiorentina are being inspired by Alessandro Diamanti.

Fiorentina won their first game since selling Juan Cuadrado at the weekend, and had a former Premier League star to thank.

The Colombian signed for Chelsea on transfer deadline day, but another piece of their mid-season transfer business came up trumps in Alessandro Diamanti.

He scored in the 3-2 win at home to Atalanta, to help Fiorentina maintain their pressure on third placed side Napoli.

Diamanti played for West Ham during the 2009/10 season, and had recently been playing in China for Guangzhao Evergrande.

Fiorentina managed to secure a deal during the transfer window to sign him on loan until the end of the season, and it's clearly having an immediate effect.

Italian website Tuttomercatoweb is especially positive regarding Diamanti's impact, belieiving he can be crucial in helping Fiorentina win the race for the final Champions League spot, with Juventus and Roma already looking to have tied up the top two spots.

"The new number 18 has in fact added with perfection in Montella's deployment of club's tactics, going in a sense, to replace Cuadrado, at least with regard to the position on the field, but being certainly more functional than the Colombian who moved to Chelsea.

"For the moment the feeling is that the extra gear for Viola can be represented by Alessandro Diamanti, the 'man who might have changed the season for a team that, in addition to the third place, it can still aspire to both Italian and Europa League Cups."

Diamanti is currently 31, and while his time at West Ham may seem a long time ago, he can add to his popularity among the club's fans if he manages to dump rivals Tottenham out of the Europa League later this month.

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