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Friday Poll: Is Kokorin a viable backup striker?

The Russian has, hm, underwhelmed so far during his Viola career, but there’s word leaking out of Moena that he could serve as the vice-Vlahović.

ACF Fiorentina v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Since arriving from Spartak Moscow in January, it’s safe to say that Aleksandr Kokorin has not impressed Fiorentina fans. Even without taking into account the violent assault and racist language that landed him in prison for 5 months in 2019 (which should absolutely be taken into account!), he was 29 years old, had never played outside of Russia, and arrived on massive wages after Spartak Moscow decided to sell him after just 6 months. Injuries limited him to 91 minutes off the bench in his inaugural half season.

While he’s said all the right things in and kept a low profile in Florence, there are genuine concerns about whether he’s got enough to make it at this level. He failed to score against Ostermünchen but did get an assist, but manager Vincenzo Italiano sent him out as the second choice striker after Dušan Vlahović played the first half, forcing Primavera striker Louis Muntean onto the wing and leaving academy product Gabriele Gori among the subs.

While it’s obviously not very smart to read a lot into a preseason friendly against an 8th-division German side, there’ve been whispers among the press that Italiano’s willing to roll with Kokorin as the primary backup to Vlahović this year. The lack of rumors linking any center forwards to the Viola would seem to support this theory, although the mercato’s yet young and Joe Barone has spoken about waiting until after the team leaves Moena to buy more players so that Italiano can evaluate the current squad.

On the one hand, Kokorin has had some success in his career. He scored 7 goals in 10 appearances for Sochi in 2019-2020 and has hit double figures in the Russian league 3 times. He earned 48 caps for Russia and scored 12 goals there. On the other hand, though, he’s never scored more than 10 goals in the league, has had injury problems, is on the wrong side of 30, and, of course, has a long record of behavior ranging from thoughtless to despicable.

Poll

Taking it all into consideration, are you okay going into this season with Sasha Kokorin as the backup striker?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Yes
    (35 votes)
  • 19%
    Neutral
    (39 votes)
  • 62%
    No
    (124 votes)
198 votes total Vote Now

Here’s your weekend thread. Stay loose.