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OFFICIAL: Fiorentina sign striker Grot

The 19-year-old Dutchman will immediately make an impact as one of the best-named players in Florence.

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The transfer window doesn’t open for another week, but that’s not going to stop Pantaleo Corvino from doing what he do: snatching up talented but little-known prospects from the smaller leagues in Europe. His latest coup is 19-year-old Dutch striker Jay-Roy Grot, who will join from NEC Nijmigen in the Eredivisie.

Grot is a striking physical specimen, standing at 6’4 (193 cm) and tipping the scales at 205 lbs (93 kg). Given his build, it’s no surprise that he’s strong as an ox. What is surprising is that he’s actually pretty quick across the ground and has the quickness of a much smaller man; while he’s mostly a striker, he can also drop back and play as a number 10, or even push out wide to the wing.

While he’s still very raw, it’s hard not to see him as a prospect brimming with promise, maybe even as the second coming of Khouma Babacar. They’re both hulking young men blessed with athleticism, they’re both willing to run like crazy, and they’ve both got a penchant for goals you wouldn’t expect such a large man to score. Grot, however, may be even farther along than Babacar was at a similar age: he’s good with either foot and knows how to operate in the box. He’s also a regular youth international in the excellent Dutch setup and is currently with the U19s.

He debuted last year for NEC and made 10 appearances, although he had to wait until this season to open his tally. He’s been very good in the Eredivisie, notching 5 goals in 20 appearances. It’s a bit deceiving, though, as 7 of those appearances came out on the wing rather than at striker. While the transfer fee remains undisclosed, it’s probably in the neighborhood of €1.5 million. His contract will run for 4 years with a team option for the 5th. He may spend a year or two out on loan before he’s ready for the Fiorentina prime time, but he’s an exciting signing and should develop into a useful Plan B at the minimum.