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Report: Gino Infantino is almost a done deal

The young Argentine attacker could be a lot of fun but may require a bit of patience.

New Zealand v Argentina : Group A - FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023
Almost a Trekkie
Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Now tha Fiorentina has officially tripped backwards and landed in the Conference League, Daniele Pradè really, really needs to add some depth throughout the squad in order to compete on 3 fronts. The latest name belongs to Gino Infantino of Rosario Central, who looks like a fascinating if slightly mystifying player.

Infantino is 20 and has spent his entire career with Rosario, breaking into the first team in 2021. He’s left-footed and has played pretty much everywhere, but has mostly featured on the wings or in central midfield, although he may wind up sticking as a regista rather than an attacker.

Because of that positional uncertainty, he probably needs at least a year or two of deeply engaged coaching to figure out his role before he’s ready to contribute regularly, although keeping him training around the first team, particularly Nico González, could accelerate his development.

I won’t pretend to have watched a lot of him, but the general discourse focuses on two opposing things: his obvious talent and his inability to win a regular starting berth. Considering that he is, to repeat, only 20 years old, it seems wise to wager on the former winning out, especially since his coaching staff has used him in so many different roles. That might also explain the lack of counting stats, as he’s tallied just 3 goals and 2 assists.

He’s not a talented-but-wayward player whose own fecklessness holds him back, though. He’s the captain for Javier Mascherano’s Argentina U20s (and per the ever-knowledgeable NolanKB, el Jefecito hasn’t done a great job with him), which indicates a certain resolve that should stand him in good stead under Italiano.

The real question is where he’ll fit in Florence. The attacking band is very crowded, as we’ve discussed at length, so perhaps the plan is to train him as a regista for a few years. It’s a good gamble, especially for the reported €3 million fee: if it works, the Viola have a really good regista on the cheap. If it doesn’t, he can maybe stick at a different position and provide the club value there.

If nothing else, it’s nice to see Nicolás Burdisso reminding everyone that he’s got connections in Argentina. Grabbing a highly touted, albeit enigmatic, 20-year-old for such a small fee is good business, especially since Infantino holds an Italian passport. This certainly feels like a move for the future, and that’s a great sign for a club that’s seemed so caught up in its past at times.