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Fiorentina closing in on Ondrej Duda

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The Slovakian is a young, technically gifted, promising playmaker, so he pretty much checks all the boxes as a Pantaleo Corvino special.

Is everyone who plays for Slovakia this scary? Cripes.
Is everyone who plays for Slovakia this scary? Cripes.
Ian Walton/Getty Images

We've been hearing whispers about it for the past few weeks, but it's looking more and more likely that Ondrej Duda is going to sign for Fiorentina. The 21 year old Slovakian playmaker has acquired a number of nicknames. "The new Marek Hamšík" is both unoriginal and inaccurate, but "Ondrej di Maria" is pretty excellent, and "Dudinho" is brilliant. The player himself may not quite live up to his monickers, but he looks like a good player, especially for the €4.5 million he's reported to cost.

Checking in at 181 cm (5'11), he's at his best as a number 10, but can play out on the wing or even up top as a striker. While he's not the quickest, his technique is excellent, and he's got an eye for the killer pass and the spectacular goal. He's probably less Hamšík and more Josip Iličić, frankly, although he's a bit more mobile than Lurch. He joined Legia Warsaw in 2013, where he's built himself into a key player for club and country; he also played with Rafał Wolski last season. He's got 99 appearances for the Ekstraklasa giants, managing 16 goals, 19 assists, 26 yellow cards, and a red card. Last year was his best, with 5 goals and 9 assists through 43 appearances. He's also got 14 caps for Slovakia, in which he's netted 2 goals.

He's mostly played through the middle, so it's a bit of a puzzler where he'd fit in Paulo Sousa's 4-3-3; most likely, he'd take his trickery out to the wing, although his lack of pace is concerning. He could conceivably play in the midfield, but he'd probably be a defensive liability. Regardless of his role, he looks like he'll be, at worst, a useful squad player. Corvino is supposedly working with Legia Warsaw to close the deal quickly, since Arsenal, West Ham, and Man U are all circling for him as well.