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OFFICIAL: Viola buy Julian Illanes

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“Who?” is a perfectly reasonable response.

julianillanes on Instagram

Now this is a Corvinato, the type of swoop out of nowhere for an unheralded player from a smaller league. Julian Illanes is a strapping 19-year-old centerback who’s just joined Fiorentina—specifically, the Primavera—from 2nd division Argentinean side Instituto Cordoba for an unnamed (but probably very small) fee.

He made the jump up from the youth side in the middle of last year, although it’s only this year that he’s really starting to establish himself in the first XI. He’s a fun defender to watch, the sort who’s not afraid to get his shorts dirty. His specialty is a late sliding tackle to cleanly dispossess an opponent, although he seems to revel in blocking shots, cutting out crosses, and generally unceremoniously snuffing out opposition attacks. Lest you think that he’s a purely old-school Argentinean defender, though, he’s got a habit of striding forward on the ball to help jump start a counter attack.

That said, he’s about as raw a prospect as you’re going to find, although the fact that he’s comfortable in the hurly-burly of the Primera B Nacional indicates that the physicality of the Primavera won’t phase him. He may not make much of an impact for a year or two, but this is the sort of player Corvino tends to sign on the cheap who flourishes after 2 or 3 years in the system.