You might think that Fiorentina’s pretty well set in the midfield right now, but that’s an awfully short-sighted view. Milan Badelj remains an excellent candidate to be sold in the winter window. Carlos Sánchez is 31 and probably doesn’t have much longer at the top level. Sebastian Cristoforo just doesn’t seem to be putting it all together. Jordan Veretout and Marco Benassi are fine, but depth is a concern, even with exciting prospects like Andy Bangu and Abdou Diakhate in the pipeline.
That’s why Fiorentina have been sniffing around young midfielders like Matheus Jesus for quite some time. The 20-year-old Brazilian, on loan at Santos from Estoril Praia, is a complete midfielder who relishes a tackle as much as hitting a 50-yard pass to switch play. Combining a powerful physique, outstanding athleticism, and quite a bit of skill, he’s drawn Paul Pogba comparisons, although those are hilariously premature. He’s been injured for awhile, but has finally gotten healthy and worked his way into the squad, recently earning his first start for the Peixe and playing the full 90 in a 0-1 win over Palmeiras.
After breaking into the Ponte Preta first team in 2015, Matheus Jesus moved to Estoril for €800,000 but never left Brazil, as the Portuguese outfit immediately farmed him out to Santos. The Flamengo academy product must have blown Pantaleo Corvino away, as the Viola DS has offered €3.5 million for the midfielder, which Estoril should accept happily to realize a 425% return on their initial investment. While he’d probably need a year or two of seasoning, he could wind up being a steal at that price a few years down the line.