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OFFICIAL: Báez loaned to Pescara

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The once-promising attacker will have yet another chance to show that he belongs.

Brazil v Uruguay: Round of 16 - FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015
Please don’t waste this chance.
Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

All of the news outlets have been rumbling with reports for a couple of weeks, and Fiorentina has finally made it official. Jaime Báez will head to the Adriatic coast and spend the upcoming season with Pescara. Surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be an option for the Delfini to buy him at the end of the loan, indicating that perhaps Pantaleo Corvino sees something in the 22-year-old Uruguayan.

What that something may be, though, is hard to say, unless the Crow is falling into the same trap as everyone else has with Báez. As we’ve previously discussed, he seems like he should be a world-class attacker: he’s got pace, agility, and stamina; he works hard on the pitch going forward and backward; and he’s got plenty of technique to skin his marker on the dribble or crank a shot from distance. Unfortunately, though, he’s always seemed less than the sum of his parts, mostly due to his bizarre inability to make the correct decision in the final third.

Pescara, though, should be the perfect team for him to prove himself. There’s not a lot of proven talent on the wings, so he’ll get every opportunity to earn a spot. More importantly, he’ll be learning under Zdenek Zeman, and if the Czech mister can’t get the youngster in the goals, then we can probably admit that he’s a lost cause.

At worst, we’d like to see Báez establish himself as a top bench option and start the odd match, totalling something like 8 goals + assists for the season. Again, to us that’s the absolute baseline. What we don’t want to see is the same pattern the former “new Luis Suárez” has followed at his previous stops at Livorno and Spezia, where he began the season as a surefire starter, then spent the next several months plummeting down the depth chart, first to the bench and then to the stands, as his lack of production drove his manager batty. On the plus side, it’s not a risk this time out, because Zemanlandia is already batty as they come. Maybe some of it will rub off on Jaime Báez.