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Khouma Babacar, the man with so much potential

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When to stop looking at potential and see a player for who they really are?

ACF Fiorentina v Udinese Calcio - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

As one of the longest serving members on the Fiorentina roster, Khouma Babacar is an elder statesmen in Florence. Yes he is only 23 years old, but he has been on the team since 2009. That easily makes him the longest serving player on the roster right now. With all that experience in the Fiorentina system, Babacar is the definition of how the development program has worked. Unfortunately, he still is not at that level that we all want to see. There have been flashes of brilliance from the young man from Senegal, but he has not put together the consistent efforts Fiorentina fans are hoping for. At the end of the day, when do we stop looking at potential and take a player for who they are?

The Good

Babacar is still young and still has loads of potential. For a while there, he was being compared to as a poor man’s Mario Balotelli. Now I guess they both are a poor man’s version. He has the build to be a top tier striker. The Senegalese striker is tall and strong, making him the ideal fit to have at the top of the pitch. He also has the uncanny knack for finding the goal in dire situations. This is why during the Montella era, Babacar was put in late in games to add an extra spark to the offense. He is good at getting in the right position to take advantage of his size, although he does not consistently finish after being in the right position. As earlier stated, Babacar really has all the characteristics of a top tier striker, but he just is not there yet.

The Not So Good

There are plenty of times when watching matches that Babacar looks like he just does not have it. The consistency of play needs to be there to become a world class forward. At the age of 23, Babacar should be the top striker for Paolo Sousa. The best players to ever step foot on a pitch normally are in their prime at 23. He needs to score more consistently. That definitely is not all on him though, there are 11 men on the field every match. With that being said, Babacar needs to finish in front of the goal at a higher rate. Overall there just has not been a ton of progress.

Since the professional career of the Senegalese striker began, Babacar has an average rating of 6.56 according to Whoscored.com. Each season it has hovered around that mark as well. Currently for the season Khouma Babacar has a rating of 6.80 and his counterpart at Fiorentina Nikola Kalinic has a 7.07 rating. Not that the ratings mean too much, they do represent a sample of work. If he even wants to sniff the chance at being a World Class player, Babacar needs to improve and be more consistent. There is a reason management is keeping him around and not transferring the young striker away. They see his potential and are hoping he can be that goal scoring machine that we all have seen glimpses of.

Here is a video to remind you how cool some of his goals really are