In only the fifth signing of the Fiorentina summer transfer window, Jaime Baez will officially join the Viola from Juventud. The Uruguayan club confirmed the move on social media in a warm sendoff to one of their academy products.
True to our sporting director's "ninja" fashion, news of the move emerged less than a week ago, and was reported as being "near completion." Now Baez is expected in Florence for a medical later this week, with him traveling to Italy on Wednesday.
Despite the Luis Suarez comparisons abounding, Baez will arrive an unknown quantity except for his sparkling appearances for the Uruguayan U-20 side. As we previously reported, he was tracked by several English clubs last year, and nearly went to Liverpool last summer.
I wouldn't expect Jaime Baez to make much of an impression on the Fiorentina first team right away, if for no other reason than because Paulo Sousa will have to see him work in training for a couple weeks. But add into the mix that Jaime is nominally a second striker, a position that has plenty of competition at the Viola right now; Josip Ilicic, Federico Bernardeschi, Giuseppe Rossi, and Ante Rebic are all candidates to fill that role. If Baez can be useful in wide areas as well - or leading the line as a number 9 - he has a better chance of getting some minutes.
Welcome to Fiorentina Jaime, we look forward to seeing what you can do!