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2016/2017 Squad Grades: Attackers

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Kalinic leads the way again in the scoring charts - but it's Bernardeschi who steals the show

ACF Fiorentina v FC Torino - Serie A
Will Kalinic be the main man next year?
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Arguably the most important part of football is putting the ball in the back of the net. It's not been too hard this year, well for the forwards at least. Kalinic with 15 league goals led the way, playing 32 games. His closest competitors were Federico Bernardeschi with 11 and then Khouma Babacar with a solid 10. Leaving three players with double figures in the season. This all sounds good until you delve deeper and realise that bar those three mentioned, only Ilicic has scored 5 or more.

Nikola Kalinic - 8

Apps: 33 Goals: 15

The Croatian has been an absolute steal, at €5.5 million it was an inspired signing. In 69 appearances he's scored an impressive 27 goals. The main things which stick out in the memory when you think of Kalinic are his goals vs Juventus. Back in January, he scored a great goal to beat Buffon and set up a famous 2-1 win over the Bianconeri. Kalinic also provided with one the most feel good transfer stories as he turned down the big bucks in China. He went on to state that the figures being bandied about were too much, a kind of honesty you don't tend to see in modern football, “I do not believe to be worth 50 million, it is too much."

If I'm being very very harsh, Kalinic can still do more. He's 29 now and like every fan you want to see a striker score over 20 and I can't see Kalinic hitting those heights. Saying that, with the current financial situation in Florence, you can't take Kalinic for granted and he certainly adds that quality up top and that ability to score winning goals.

Khouma Babacar- 7

Apps: 22 Goals: 10

Babacar is almost an enigma, I'm sure there is a top draw striker in there somewhere. He averaged almost a goal every other game. Considering he only started 13 games 10 goals in 22 games is a great return for Babacar. At 24, Babacar is no longer young and now needs to be playing regular football, i'm not convinced he will be starting next year ahead of Kalinic when the season comes around next September. There seem to be rumours of Babacar exiting the club every Mercato yet he's still here. Next season is big for the Senegalese international if he wants to play properly establish himself as a first-choice striker

Federico Bernardeschi - 9

Apps: 32 Goals: 11 Assists: 4

Bernardeschi has been nothing short of brilliant. He's really established himself as one of the best Italian attacking talents. The main challenge will be to keep a hold of him in the summer. Berna is a constant threat and being a Florentine he's a fan favourite. If he plays well nine times out of ten so do Fiorentina. He's most noticeably added goals to his game with the number ten into double figures. He's become the most important player in a very short space of time, I'm drawn back to the preseason game against Barcelona where you could see his potential, and boy has he went on to fulfil it. It's only up for Bernardeschi and hopefully, that'll be in Florence. (if he goes to Juventus over the summer, I will probably cry my eyes out.)

Josip Ilicic - 5

Apps: 30 Goals: 5 Assists: 4

Where to start with Josip Ilicic, it's obvious the Slovenian has immense talent and a wand of a left foot at times. However, it's not been his year. Himself and Kalinic looked to have formed a formidable partnership last season. His return last year was a highly impressive 13 goals and 6 assists, compared to 5 goals and 4 assists year he hasn't been able to replicate his form. Arguably one of the most frustrating players to watch too because of his form fluctuates, he can look like a world-beater at times but on too many occasions have we seen the slow inconsistent Ilicic who's bound to move on over the summer.

Riccardo Saponara - 6

Apps: 11 Goals: 2 Assists: 2

Saponara who joined in the winter Mercato hasn't as of yet shown what he can do in in a Fiorentina shirt. In patches, he's looked like he's an extremely clever and intelligent passer of the ball, as well as notching two goals. With Ilicic more than likely to leave over the summer I'm expecting big things from the attacking midfielder if he gets his chance.

Others

Mauro Zarate

Zarate was never really given a fair chance in his time at Fiorentina. However, he did give us one of the best goals of the season in the 3-3 draw at home to Napoli. The Argentine was frozen out at times under Sousa it was inevitable that he was going to leave in January.

Giuseppe Rossi

A special mention goes to Rossi. Still technically a Fiorentina player, it's the question of what if with Pepito. Such a shame to see him get injured again for a long period of time while he was at Celta Vigo, but he'll always be fondly remembered for his time in Florence.

Poll

Who do you think was Fiorentina's best attacker of the 2016/17 season?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Nikola Kalinic
    (23 votes)
  • 8%
    Khouma Babacar
    (8 votes)
  • 65%
    Federico Bernardeschi
    (58 votes)
  • 0%
    Josip Ilicic
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Riccardo Saponara
    (0 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now