Fiorentina striker Christian Kouamé spoke with Sky Sports a couple of days ago and delivered some pretty exciting news: he feels like he’s at about 70% and could play if Giuseppe Iachini needed him; he is, and I quote, “born ready.” Considering that he tore his cruciate ligament just five months ago, it’s a pretty astonishing recovery time, even if he’s not likely to feature in any matches for awhile yet due to the hell vortex in which we find ourselves confined.
Besides discussing his health, the 22-year-old Ivorian praised Rocco Commisso for keeping in touch with him during the lockdown and also mentioned Joe Barone as his original Viola contact when his move from Genoa went through back in January. While it’s not a surprise that Rocco’s been in touch—his personal involvement with players at all levels has been exemplary throughout his tenure—it’s good to hear that he’s still reaching out even though he’s at home in New York.
Kouamé also mentioned that he’s been in touch with Iachini, but not really with any of his other new teammates, which is too bad. Maybe a Zoom happy hour or a group workout (Fiorentina Women’s and Antonio Cincotta have perfected this one) would serve to ease him into the squad dynamic, although he seems like such a positive and genuine dude—sounds like he sends most of his paycheck to his parents back in Abidjan—that it’s hard to imagine him not fitting in.
He described his joy at moving to Florence after visiting in January with his girlfriend and son, who “fell in love” with the city, and explained that his role model as a player is Didier Drogba, which, well, yeah. They don’t seem to be stylistically similar—Drogba was an aerial threat par excellence while Kouamé’s an absolute blur of pace—but the youngster’s got a good jump on him and is at least looking in the right directions.
In a reversal of the typical “Fiorentina beffata” transfer story, he also revealed that Inter Milan tried to sign him in 2016 after he spent a year on loan there, but he decided to return to Prato instead. We were unable to confirm if it’s because Tuscany is just way better than Lombardy, but it seems a safe assumption.
While he’s probably even more ready to start playing again than we are to see him (which is very, very much), it’s nice to remember that the Viola have yet another absurdly promising young forward who should be fully operational in another month or two. Can’t wait for the new number nine to make his debut.