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Traorè transfer in jeopardy due to player’s alleged heart condition

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This stuff is scary, so we just want the player to be okay more than anything.

Empoli v US Sassuolo - Serie A
Sidelined.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

We were all over the moon at Viola Nation Towers about the signing of Hamed Junior Traorè this summer. The Empoli midfielder is a 19-year-old dynamo, a brilliant ball-carrier in the midfield who works in attack and defense and looks like he’s got as bright a career in front of him as any teenager in Serie A. Now, though, we’re hearing rumors that the deal between the Tuscan clubs for him may be off due to a previously-unreported heart condition.

The whispers began earlier this week after the Ivorian was on the bench for the second consecutive round of fixtures after starting the previous 14 matches. That, combined with a recent report from La Nazione that Fiorentina haven’t yet deposited the midfielder’s contract with the Serie A offices yet, led to rampant speculation that the Viola had just learned about the heart condition and were waiting for further tests before spending any money on the player, who remains on loan at Empoli until season’s end.

Both Traorè and Empoli have hit back at these claims, issuing a statement that the player has passed all the usual medical tests and will pursue legal action against those claiming that he’s medically unfit to return to action. That certainly takes some of the sting out, but the lack of matches and contract issue (which may not be a big deal at all) are enough to raise some eyebrows.

For Fiorentina in particular, the thought of taking on a player with a heart condition is really frightening. It’s not even been a year since Davide Astori—who’d also passed every medical check he’d ever been subjected to—passed in his sleep from a similar ailment, rocking the footballing world and leaving the Viola bereaved in a way that hopefully no other team will ever have to understand. We remain big fans of Hamed Junior Traorè’s work on the pitch, but it’s way more important to us that he have his full health. If that means quitting football, so be it. If these reports turn out to be false, though (and we hope with every fiber of our beings that they are), we can’t wait to see him next year.