Fiorentina just announced the signing of Croatian winger Marko Pjaca on loan from Juventus, bringing to a close a series of rumors that began two months ago. While it’s very exciting to pick up a 23-year-old winger who made an appearance in the World Cup final, it’s perhaps even more exciting to finally be finished with this interminable saga.
Before we get too far into that, though, let’s discuss the player a bit. After countless hours spent scouring game footage, we’ve determined that yeah, he’s good. Blessed with pace, quickness, stamina, and strength, he’s a wonderful dribbler who loves nothing more than driving straight at an opposing defense. He generally prefers to play on the left wing, where he can cut inside and let fly or slip in a teammate (his passing is rather underrated), but he can also get to the byline and whip in a cross with his left. While he likes to dart in behind the defense, he’s at his best when he can isolate an opponent one-on-one and fly past him.
His only real weakness is a propensity for injury; since joining Juventus in 2016, he’s only made 20 league appearances after suffering a succession of serious knee injuries. The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo was the death knell for his Bianconero career, and the Turin outfit has been shopping him all over Europe: Sampdoria, Valencia, Liverpool, Everton, and Leicester City were all reportedly after him as well.
The deal that brings Pjaca to Florence isn’t too hard to swallow, either. A €2 million fee for the loan goes to Juve now, and Fiorentina can buy him outright at the end of the year for somewhere around €23 million. Considering the quality of the player, it’s a heck of a deal; Richarlison, a fairly similar player, just joined Everton from Watford for €45 million. However, we’ve also heard rumors (albeit from Bleacher Report, which usually isn’t very plugged into Serie A) that, as part of the deal, the Juvenuts will also get the right of first refusal should the Viola ever want to sell Fede Chiesa.
But we’re not going to focus on that right now. Instead, we’re going to look at how picking up a World Cup runner-up on a bargain deal in a position of need is going to make this Viola attack way more frightening. Pjaca, along with Chiesa, Giovanni Simeone, and newly-arrived Kevin Mirallas, will comprise an attack that suddenly looks like one of the best in Italy and could well fire Fiorentina into the European places next season.