It’s no secret that Pantaleo Corvino’s mission this season has been to make the Fiorentina roster younger from top to bottom. Hence the fire sale of established starters this past summer and a raft of youthful replacements (plus Cyril Théréau). It’s also no secret that the Viola desperately need quality in the attack. While Riccardo Saponara has brought out the best in Federico Chiesa and Giovanni Simeone, the cupboard is awfully bare behind them. It doesn’t take a genius, then, to figure out that the Crow’s top priority in the summer mercato will be adding a talented young attacker.
Enter Inter Milan winger Yann Karamoh. The Frenchman, born in Côte d’Ivoire, moved to the black and blue side of Milan at the start of the season from Caen on a 2-year loan with a €5.5 million obligatory fee due in 2019. He’s made 10 appearances for the Nerazzurri this year, mostly from the bench, and scored a goal against Bologna. However, he’s miles behind Ivan Perišić and Antonio Candreva in the pecking order, and with Suning expected to splash some cash on attackers this summer, his prospects at the San Siro look bleak indeed in the immediate future.
That’s no knock against him, though. Remember, he’s still just a teenager and has all the tools to become a genuine star. He’s got pace to spare, both over the long haul and in his explosive first step. He’s got the physical strength that belies his sapling build, showing a knack for holding up play and winning the ball in the air. He’s willing and able to beat his man on the dribble, and can shoot and cross with either foot. His off-ball movement is excellent: he keeps his width before going down the line and crossing or cutting inside, and he’s very good at getting goalside of his marker in the box when the ball is on the other wing. All in all, he’s every inch the modern wide forward.
It’s no shock, then, that a host of clubs are jostling for his services. As Inter are obligated to buy him next year, they may renegotiate the deal with Caen to buy him outright this summer to facilitate loaning or selling him at a profit. Chievo Verona, Bologna, Saint-Étienne, and Bordeaux are all competing with Fiorentina, but the Viola have the inside track according to Tuttomercatoweb.
Here’s the rub, though: Inter want to send Karamoh to Florence as part of a deal for Chiesa. Whether or not they’d be willing to negotiate for him sans Fede is a mystery. It’ll take all of Corvino’s cunning to pry the France U20 international away from the Nerazzurri without losing the crown jewel of the team. We wouldn’t put it past Corvino to succeed here, but we’re excited because this demonstrates the sort of player Pantaleo is considering. If this is any indication, he’s stocking the Viola larder for the long haul, and we could be in for a treat.