Of all the players Fiorentina sent out on loan last year, you could make a pretty good argument that Rafik Zekhnini was the most successful. The 21-year-old Norwegian tallied 6 goals and 4 assists with FC Twente last year in 29 appearances, despite losing more than a month to injury, and generally looked like one of the brightest prospects in the Dutch second division as he helped the Tukkers win the league and seal promotion. Now, Twente have officially announced that he’ll be back at it for them next year.
The statement claims that Zekhnini, upon learning that he was going to be loaned out again, was adamant in requesting a redux in Enschede, and that, after some tricky negotiations, the Viola agreed. There’s no mention of an option to buy, so this should be a dry loan for the Big Z, ensuring that he’ll be back in Florence next season.
He’s a very exciting player and possesses game-breaking pace, but still hasn’t quite put everything together. Another year in the wide-open Eredivisie, a league that tends to encourage the development of talented wingers, should see him build on last season’s success. He seems very happy with the setup there and the team has shown faith in him by not adding any other wide forwards, so we’re pretty happy about how this one is working out. Best of luck to him and Twente this year, and let’s get ready to enjoy him in 2020-2021.