Michael Kayode’s agent Andrea Ritorni spoke with Radio Bruno yesterday (via fiorentina.it) and discussed teenaged client. For Viola fans, the most important part of the conversation centered on Kayode’s future, with Ritorni stating: “He has a contract until 2028 and Fiorentina is protecting him.”
Ritorni also spoke about Kayode’s health, assuring listeners that the fullback is back at 100% following the awful challenge that knocked him out of the Čukarički match. Besides the usual niceties about his client—he wants to help the team, he’s focused, he’s always trying to improve—he also let slip a fun little nugget about Kayode’s pre-match ritual, which involves spending 7 or 8 hours before kickoff isolated, visualizing the upcoming proceedings.
With Arsenal reportedly sniffing around, Ritorni has certainly soothed some Florentine anxieties about the kid’s future. It’s hard not to think he’s in the perfect spot, too, as he’s assured regular playing time for a team in Europe but won’t be relied on to carry too heavy a load, at least once Dodô returns.
And while Kayode’s certainly got the quality to play for Arsenal, let’s remember that he’s still just 19 and needs playing time more than he needs spotlights. He’s still got plenty of room for growth—the dribbling towards his own goal with a man on his back isn’t great, and his delivery could use some work—and staying in Florence means he’ll grow under one of Serie A’s brightest young managers in Vincenzo Italiano, who obviously figured out that Wile E. Kayode was special right away.
After all, Italiano handed him a start in the first game of the season and trusted him to shut down Kvara Karatshkelia. Playing in Florence also keeps him firmly in the view of the Italy international setup; having decided the U21 Euro final over the summer, he’s likely in Luciano Spalletti’s sights for the senior side.
I’m not saying that Michael Kayode is going to spend his entire career at Fiorentina because he probably won’t. Players move around, always on the hunt for a better situation, as well they should. Maybe Kayode bucks the trend and ends up as the last real bandiera, but for now, we can rest assured that the player will keep his talent (and his infectious enthusiasm) with the Viola for the foreseeable future.