It seems like all of Fiorentina’s recent purchases and rumors have focused on the midfield (with the exception of soon-to-be-announced Pol Lirola), but the front line has been rather unaddressed in the rumor mill. Gianluca di Marzio has dropped a bit of a bombshell to rectify that, though: he claims that Los Angeles FC’s 21-year-old star Diego Rossi is within the Viola sights.
Rossi is a former Uruguayan youth international who’s already struck 12 goals (with 4 assists) in 22 MLS appearances this year, his second season in the US. He’s a former Peñarol player who made his debut as an 18-teen-year old in 2016 and scored in his first league appearance days later. LAFC bought him for €2.5 million on the first day of 2018, and he’s already made 62 appearances for the Black and Gold, tallying an impressive 30 goals, 12 assists, and just a single booking; he contributes a goal or assist every 119 minutes, which is pretty dang good.
That’s about as much as I know about him, so I asked Angels on Parade editor Alicia Rodriguez—follow her on Twitter if you’re into the MLS, because she’s very good—for some help. Given that she also runs SB Nation’s MLS hub and even writes for the league sometimes, she’s as expert on LAFC as anyone around. She’s also my boss, which is very lucky for me. Here’s what she had to say.
“Been hearing in recent days LAFC aren’t in a hurry to sell Rossi this window. More likely, I think they have a set amount and are currently prepared to wait for a team to hit it, so if Fiorentina put in a good bid, it could happen.
“Rossi plays as a wide forward, usually on the left flank for LAFC. He’s a pretty productive scorer, especially considering how many goals Vela is scoring this year.
“He led LAFC in scoring across all competitions last year. I think he still has room for growth, he is in many ways a typical Uruguayan player, but he’s definitely a player who I think can succeed in the right situation in Europe.”
Going by that description, he sounds like he’d be a perfect fit with Federico Chiesa out wide, as he’d force the defense to account for him on the other side while providing a goal threat. He’s probably not the solution in a central role, which means that Giovanni Simeone and Dušan Vlahović remain the top options at striker. Should this deal go through (and there’s no formal offer yet, it doesn’t sound like, so let’s not jump the gun here), it could go a long way towards improving last year’s moribund and predictable attack. And we like that.