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OFFICIAL: Fiorentina add M’Bala Nzola to the mix

The Angolan striker has proven to be a quality Serie A forward with a long history of working with Vincenzo Italiano.

Spezia Calcio v Udinese Calcio - Serie A Photo by Alessio Marini/LiveMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Fiorentina’s quest to replace Dušan Vlahović advances another step with the club announcing that it’s inked Spezia striker M’Bala Nzola for a reported €12 million. We haven’t heard much about the contract, but it’s likely for something like 4 years at €1.5 million. It’s a nice early present for a guy who turns 27 in 9 days.

It’s a cut-rate deal for the Angola international, who was mooted to go twice that as West Ham, AS Roma, and Torino all circled. €12 million feels a relative pittance, especially since Fiorentina didn’t have to throw in Edoardo Pierozzi or Michele Cerofolini to grease the wheels.

Nzola works the channels well and links up effectively with his teammates, using his robust frame to shield opponents and bring other attackers into moves. He’s not just a big lug, though, as he’s got the pace to threaten in behind and work the channels as well. He’s finished in double figures in 2 of his 3 years in Serie A, outperforming his xG in both despite playing for an offensively-limited Spezia side.

Perhaps most importantly, this is his third stint under Vincenzo Italiano, who brought him to Trapani in 2019 and then to Spezia the following year. There’s no question that Nzola knows exactly what his role is in Italiano’s system and can fulfill it perfectly. With a better supporting cast, he should fit right into the team.

The rotating door continues swinging for the Viola, who’ve sent Arthur Cabral to Benfica. With a move for Argentinean hit man Lucas Beltrán also nearing completion, Luka Jović will be the only holdover from last year’s squad and may be no better than third choice.