The future of Milan Badelj remains uncertain, Carlos Sánchez turns 32 in a week, and Sebastian Cristoforo has clearly fallen out of Fiorentina’s plans. The defensive midfield spot is, in a word, in flux. Pantaleo Corvino is obviously doing all he can to find a long-term replacement, with rumors of Matheus Jesus, Bruno Zuculini, and a host of others passing through. The latest, though, seems the closest to reaching fruition, with reports that the Viola are in talks with Górnik Zabrze over a deal for 20-year-old Szymon Żurkowski.
Żurkowski, while not exactly a household name, looks like he could wind up being a very good player. He’s already got the physical tools of a grown-ass man and can run for days. He likes a shot from distance with either foot and uses his athleticism to get himself into space on the edge of the area after bursting forward from deep. His passing and skill on the ball are still works in progress, but again, he’s only 20 years old.
He’s enjoyed a breakout campaign for the Trójkolorowi, earning 3 goals, 3 assists, and 3 bookings in 23 appearances (22 starts). He first broke into the senior side last year, finishing the season with 6 straight starts after mostly working with the reserves. He’s also introduced himself to a wider European audience over the past year, leading the Polish U21s to second in their group for the Euros and scoring this cracker against Denmark in November.
His contract isn’t up until 2020, so Górnik aren’t under pressure to sell and can hold out for a fee that will probably be in the neighborhood of €2 million. If the deal goes through, don’t expect to see Żurkowski tearing up Serie A immediately; he’ll probably train with the reserves for the rest of this season, then maybe take a year or two on loan. As we’ve seen with Bartłomiej Drągowski, expecting too much from a youngster straight from the Ekstraklasa just isn’t fair and only leads to frustration for everyone. Still and all, though, don’t be shocked if Szymon has a productive Viola career when it’s all said and done.