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Ianis Hagi is still happy to be here

The teenager acknowledges that he didn’t exactly make a splash this season, but he’s smart enough to know he didn’t need to.

ACF Fiorentina v Pescara Calcio - Serie A
Looking good in purple.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

In an interview with DolceSport, 18-year-old attacker Ianis Hagi admitted that the season didn’t quite go the way he might have hoped. Limited to just 2 appearances spanning 48 minutes with the senior Fiorentina side, he quickly laid to rest any rumors about his dissatisfaction with the club.

“I’m not regretful of my choice [to play for Fiorentina] because I’m still playing in a very big league and I get to train with very talented players,” the Romanian U21 international said. “It’s been a difficult year for me because I haven’t played much, but I’ve worked hard and grown a lot. I believe I showed that in the last match.”

While young Hagi (hey, have you heard that his dad is the legendary Gheorghe Hagi yet?) said that he hopes to play more next season, it’s hard to see the Viola bringing him in to play significant minutes with the senior side. Given his promise—5 goals and 3 assists across 13 Primavera appearances, or a goal every 136.5 minutes from central midfield—he’ll probably move on loan to a Serie B side and try to establish himself as an everyday starter; 2018 might see him brought back as the understudy to Borja Valero.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in thinking that Hagi Junior should be starting right now, given his pedigree, but there aren’t very many 18-year-olds who can play in Serie A. He’s certainly one of the crown jewels in the Viola youth setup, so let’s just enjoy him for what he is right now rather than place any heavier expectations on his narrow shoulders than he already bears. And hey, if he tears it up at Moena and in Serie B next season, we could be seeing a lot more of him way sooner than we thought.