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Strinić may be the solution at leftback

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The Partenopei outcast looks like he’d fit a need, but does he fit the profile of signings this summer?

Trento v SSC Napoli - Pre-Season Friendly
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Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images

Fiorentina have had a hole at leftback since offloading Hrvoje Milić to Olympiacos earlier this summer. Maxi Olivera is a good and solid player, but much like Massimo Gobbi and Manuel Pasqual before him, he always looks better as part of a platoon, allowing for rotation based on form. Unfortunately, the only other leftback on the roster is 18-year-old Primavera prospect Luca Ranieri. Now, though, we’ve heard rumblings that Ivan Strinić may be the man to join the Uruguayan on the left flank.

The 39-time Croatia international moved to Napoli on a free from Dnipro (where he played with Nikola Kalinić) in 2015, but hasn’t really made his mark at the San Potato. He’s only made 39 appearances in total for the Partenopei. Unable to surpass Faouzi Ghoulam, the addition of Mário Rui from AS Roma makes him look even less likely to get minutes, and he could thus be available for a discount.

He’d certainly fit right in to the Viola first team. He’s got decent pace, good defensive instincts, and knows when to get forward. He’s fine on the ball and crosses the ball pretty well. He’s the man who knocked Milić out of the Croatia setup, so he would, at worst, be an upgrade on Hrvoje.

But he’s also 30 years old, which would make him the second-oldest Gigliato, behind Davide Astori. Corvino has spoken very publicly about his desire to make the squad younger this summer, and his actions have certainly demonstrated his commitment to the youth movement; Valentin Eysseric is set to be the oldest transfer at 25 years of age. While Strinić would certainly help Fiorentina in the short term, we’d bet against a move due to his age. On the other hand, the Crow likes to zig when we think he’ll zag, so it’s always possible, especially as the mercato winds down.