In a sensational bit of news, AS Monaco winger Gil Dias is about to close a move to Fiorentina. Supposedly, it’ll be a 2-year loan with €20 million optional fee due in July of 2019 to make the move permanent. This is completely out of the blue, but a welcome development for a Viola team that was unable to beat Parma in a friendly yesterday.
Gil Dias is one of a handful of Jorge Mendes-represented players who moved to Monaco last year and rocketed the principality club into the Champions League semifinals. Dias himself wasn’t on that squad, though. He spent the year on loan at Rio Ave in Portugal, where he chalked up 8 goals and 7 assists in 39 appearances across all competitions. He also continued his progression through the Portugal youth ranks, making his U20 debut and and assisting the opener.
While his stated preference is for the left wing, Dias can happily operate on the right as well, and he’s even played striker at the international level. He’s got the pace you expect from a Portuguese winger, along with a lot more strength on the ball and in the air then the average 20-year-old attacker, but it’s his talent for shaking defenders out of their boots and leaving them prone and trembling in his wake that really stands out.
As you can see, his end product can still be a bit spotty—his penchant for beating a man or three, getting to the touchline, and playing in a low cross that none of his teammates can reach is the most glaring shortcoming—but if this deal comes off, he’d certainly move ahead of Rafik Zekhnini in the pecking order. At worst, he looks like a young and exciting backup to Federico Chiesa and Valentin Eysseric out wide. At best, he’ll displace the latter and join the former in one of the most fearsome young pairs of wingers in Italy.