Legendary playmaker Gheorghe Hagi has spoken about the potential of his 16 year old son Ianis who was signed by Fiorentina in June. The viola did well to secure his signature, having faced competition from other Serie A clubs. A deciding factor in the choice of club was the recommendation from Hagi's compatriot and former Fiorentina player Adrian Mutu.
Ianis is currently back in Romania, having been loaned back to FC Viitorul Constanța under the watchful eye of his father Gheorghe, who is owner and manager. In an interview with La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Hagi Snr. has even asserted that Ianis is better than he was at his age: "he's a perfect number 10, assist man, quick decision maker, good with both feet and talented with the final ball and shots on goal"
If Ianis develops into anything like the player that his father was, Fiorentina will do well to hold onto him. Gheorghe himself played in Italy - for Bresia between the years of 1992 and 1994, helping them to gain promotion back to Serie A. An eyecatching performance at the 1994 World Cup in the USA led a lucrative move to Johan Cruyff's Barcelona for before he ended his career with Galatasaraty. Internationally, Hagi was part of a Romanian national team that achieved unprecedented success between 1990 and 2000 and famously all sported bleached hair in the 1998 World Cup match against Tunisia.
Although Ianis has a mountain to climb if even if he wants to equal the success of his father, he has already made headway internationally by representing his country at U15,16 and 17 level. Fiorentina will be watching him develop with interest and hoping that his promise is to be realised.