Yes, that title is correct. Sevilla, who sit third in la Liga, are seriously considering a move for Josip Iličić. I suppose that, technically, he could qualify as a replacement for any of on-loan Samir Nasri, Stevan Jovetić, or Luciano Vietto. He’s probably not that much of an upgrade on Franco Vázquez, Pablo Sarabia, Joaquin Correa, or Ganso. But we’ve heard reports from a variety of sources, so I that Fiorentina should worry about losing their, er, star.
Okay, no one will argue that Josip Iličić deserves quite a bit of the stick he comes in for around these parts. He’s cumbersome and has a knack for killing promising attacks with awe-inspiringly poor decisions. He’s neither fish nor foul, and hasn’t ever really found a position in Florence since he joined from Palermo for just under €10 million back in 2013; too slow for the wing, dropping too deep to play as a striker, staying to high to work as a true midfielder, he’s neither fish nor foul.
At his best, though, he’s a world-class attacker blessed with incredible technique, able to dribble past his man, see and pick out extraordinary passes, and hit jaw-dropping golazos. Sure, he’s having a down year, but in the two seasons previous to this one, he’s scored 25 goals to go with 10 assists in 71 matches, which is a very impressive return for someone who’s not a full-time striker, regardless how many were penalties.
Really, it’s his inconsistency that kills the fans. You never know which Josip you’re going to get: the brilliant one who can single-handedly win matches, or his lumbering Lurch counterpart who can’t do anything right. With the emergence of Federico Bernardeschi and Federico Chiesa, who are younger, cheaper, homegrown, and consistently better, he’s dropped down the pecking order and seems a likely candidate to be sold this summer. But all previous indications had been that a midtable English or German side would pounce, rather than a high-flying outfit like Sevilla.
The punchline here, of course, is that Sevilla are on the verge of losing their brilliant DS and transfer expert Monchi (who signed such luminaries as Sergio Ramos, Daniel Alves, and Ivan Rakitić) to AS Roma; who would have thought that his final gift to the club he’s served for 28 years if you count his days as a reserve goalkeeper for the Rojiblancos, including 17 as the sporting director. They must have done something to tick him off if his last move for the club is to bring aboard ol’ Lurch.