Since Fiorentina have been linked to, like, 59823740987 different wingers so far in this mercato, let’s add another in Nicola Sansone. Unlike many of the other purported Viola targets, though, this one may actually be feasible for a number of reasons. Let’s break it down here.
Sansone (who was one of my favorite cheap pickups in, like, FIFA 13) has spent the past two years in Spain with Villarreal; as you may recall, that’s the club that provided the Viola with Borja Valero, Gonzalo Rodríguez, and Giuseppe Rossi in a single window. It’s been a reasonably fruitful 2 years, as he’s got 15 goals and 6 assists in 64 appearances, although last year’s 5 and 1 was a bit of a disappointment. Perhaps that’s why the Yellow Submarine dropped €43 million to remake their attack this year, which sure seems to leave Nico on the outside looking in.
Perhaps that’s why reports say that Villarreal are willing to sell the 26-year-old for something like €10 million, which would constitute a €3 million loss on the price they paid to bring him in from Sassuolo in 2016. While he hasn’t fulfilled his early promise—25 goals and 21 assists in 127 appearances in Serie A—he’s hardly a bust, having earned 3 caps for Italy along the way.
Given his relative struggles last year and the younger, more expensive talents Villarreal just signed, he could be had at a discount. That’s good news for Viola fans, as he’s the exact type of player you’d like to see on the left wing opposite Federico Chiesa: a pacey dribbler who loves to cut inside (which would leave lots of space for Cristiano Biraghi to motor into) and let fly with his powerful right foot. He’s got everything you could ask for in such a winger, except that he can be a bit selfish at times in the final third. Still, his talent and versatility—he can be deployed on the right or as a striker—make him a perfect fit.
Before you shell out the cash for that nice purple jersey with Sansone written across the back, though, remember that, like all the other wingers Fiorentina have been linked to this summer, the rumors surrounding his move to Florence are based purely on media speculation. We haven’t heard anything from what you could call a remotely credible source that this is a deal the teams have discussed. While Nicola Sansone is the sort of player Fiorentina should target—relatively young, available at a discount, full of ability—there is precisely zero evidence that he’s part of Corvino’s plans. And that’s just how Corvino wants it.