Pantaleo Corvino is clearly not satisfied with Fiorentina’s midfield prospects at the moment, because he’s making some serious moves for the future. First, he saw off competition from Juventus, Napoli, and Inter Milan to sign uber-prospect Hamed Junior Traorè from Empoli—the 18-year-old Ivorian will stay at the Carlo Castellani on loan until next season—and now the Viola DS has added another very promising youngster under the same formula. Get ready to see a lot of Szymon Żurkowski next year, because he too may well be the real deal.
A powerful 21-year-old, Żurkowski currently plies his trade for Górnik Zabrze in the Ekstraklasa. Despite the team’s miserable season (they’re in the relegation places right now), the young man from Tychy has been quite impressive as a box-to-box midfielder. He’s got everything you want to see in a midfielder: pace, athleticism, fitness, passing vision and range, technique, defensive awareness, and a wicked shot from distance with either foot. He loves splitting open the defense with a clever pass as much as he loves turning and accelerating past a would-be defender; his dynamism and workrate make him an absolutely perfect fit in a Stefano Pioli midfield.
This is a really smart move on Corvino’s part, too. What with the current logjam of midfielders, bringing Żurkowski aboard now wouldn’t make a lot of sense. However, with Gerson and Edimilson Fernandes returning to AS Roma and West Ham United at season’s end, the young Pole could well start the season in the first XI after getting a full offseason at Moena to get on the same page with his new mates.
And, in true Corvino fashion, he looks like a steal. With 4 goals and 3 assists in 21 appearances this year, €3.4 million—the amount reported by the ever-reliable Gianluca di Marzio—with bonuses totaling up to €1.7 and a portion of any future fee received, this is an absolute steal. Żurkowski is a star in the Ekstraklasa and for the Poland U21s. Heck, he’s already been called up for the senior side, although he’s yet to make his debut. This is a kid with 41 appearances in the top flight of his native country already and who looks like he could well be a star in the making. We’re absolutely thrilled about this one.