It’s safe to say that a move to Monaco hasn’t propelled Soualiho Meïté to new heights. After signing with the principality club for an €8 million fee this summer, he’s made just 3 appearances, spending the vast majority of his time watching his team from the stands. Violanews claims, though, that Fiorentina want to swoop in and take him away from all this.
In fairness to him, a move to Monaco was perhaps a bit premature for the French 23-year-old, as les Rouges et Blancs are pretty stacked in central midfield, boasting the talents of Fabinho, Youri Tielemans, and João Moutinho. But Meïté recently has also dropped down below Kévin N'Doram in the pecking order, rendering him superfluous to requirements at the Stade Louis II.
It’s an abrupt change of events for the former French U20 international, who rose to prominence as an 18-year-old on loan to Auxerre in Ligue 2. Upon returning to parent club Lille the following year, he impressed in the top flight, and it looked for all the world like he was well on his way to superstardom. A few injury-marred seasons later, though, and Lille were desperate to pawn him off, shuffling him to Belgian outfit Zulte Waregem at a discount. The Belgians, in turn, sold him to Monaco before the season began, realizing a tidy profit in the process.
Meïté certainly looks the part, checking in at a stout 6’2 (187 cm). He’s got the physical strength to match his frame, along with surprising pace and quickness for a man his size. He’s more than just a physical specimen, though, as his tackling is generally hard (sometimes too much so) and he’s got the skill to switch the play from his deep midfield spot and the technique to get himself out of tight spaces and surge forward into the attack.
Especially if Monaco were willing to send him to Florence on a loan deal with a cheap future fee, he’d be an excellent replacement for Milan Badelj, who’s widely tipped to move on from Florence either this January or at the end of the year. While Meïté lacks the Croatian’s wonderful reading of the game, his extra strength and pace would make up for it. The interest could also signal that the Viola have given up on Sebastian Cristoforo. Should the deal go through and Meïté rediscover his form of a few years ago, it could be another coup for Corvino.