Anyone who’s followed Fiorentina for any amount of time knows that sporting director Pantaleo Corvino loves nothing more than buying teenagers that no one, not even the most ardent Football Manager enthusiast has never heard of. So when I tell you that the Viola are eying a move for Caen defender Thomas Chesnel, there’s no shame in your response consisting entirely of, “Huh?”
Chesnel is an 18-year-old centerback who’s spent his entire career with the Normandy outfit, progressing through the academy to his current level with the U19s. He has yet to make an appearance with the senior side, but he seems to be a pretty well thought of prospect, helping lead his team to the U19 championship over Montpellier. He’s also supposedly caught the eye of several English clubs, which is promising.
Look, I’m going to be totally honest here. I don’t know a lot about Thomas Chesnel. Pretty much all I could find on him was the entirety of that match against Montpellier; if you want to watch it, he’s wearing number 5. From what I could glean, he’s not the biggest or strongest, but knows where to be defensively to keep his man in check. He’s quick across the pitch for a central defender and likes striding forward on the ball to force the opposing defense to shift, then hit a pass through the lines. He likes to nip in front of attackers to steal the ball, although he’s occasionally a bit to eager to stick tight and can leave a lot of space in behind. Basically, though, if Corvino thinks he’s worth a gamble for what’ll surely be a very low price, I’m willing to bet that there’s plenty of talent in him.