Rodolfo Pizarro is one of the brightest talents in the Liga MX, notching 8 goals and 10 assists in 38 appearances for Chivas. Just 23 years old, he’s got a long career ahead of him, although not in Guadalajara; the player has made it clear that he’s on his way out, with Monterrey being the favorites to land his services.
However, there’s still no official announcement about the move. I’ve heard a lot of speculation that it’s because he wants to see if an offer comes in from Europe, with Ajax and PSV registering some interest. However, Fiorentina are keeping an eye on him as well and may swoop in with an offer in the €7 million range. It’s well below what the player is worth, especially in light of the Rayados offering a reported €12.7 million, but Chivas may prefer to accept the smaller sum to prevent their best player (sorry, Alan Pulido) from moving to a direct rival.
Pizarro is a wonderful player with plenty of technique and creativity to go along with a good turn of pace, but it’s his shooting that sets him apart. He’s got a habit of scoring jaw-dropping golazos that make you feel weak in the knees, but he’s also got a knack for losing his marker in the box and scrambling in rebounds. I asked my colleague and Liga MX expert Jorge Martinez Jr. about him, and received glowing reviews.
Despite the two caveats at the end there, Pizarro would immediately slot in on the left wing for the Viola, although he can play anywhere behind the striker and even operate up front if necessary. His athleticism and guile would provide a perfect foil for Federico Chiesa on the right; with a pair of lethal wingers, opponents wouldn’t be able to collapse their defenses to stop Fede without opening themselves up to a world of hurt from the other side.
Pizarro’s most likely destination is Monterrey, sure. But if he wants to test himself in Europe, Florence would make a perfect destination. He’d be a certain starter on a club competing for the Europa League. The whole squad is young, hungry, and perfectly set up for his style of play. His countryman Carlos Salcedo spent a year in purple. And Juan Carlos Osorio’s inexplicable decision to leave him out of El Tri for the World Cup means that he’d join a long line of Viola stars who never get capped: Sebastien Frey, Adrian Mutu, Adem Ljajić, Borja Valero, Gonzalo Rodríguez, and Khouma Babacar have all had their struggles with the national team.
It’s a longshot, we know, but it’d be marvelous to have him.