After seeming to drop out of Vincenzo Montella’s plans in favor of Dušan Vlahović and Kevin-Prince Boateng, we all expected Giovanni Simeone to move elsewhere. Nobody seemed to expect, though, that somewhere meant Cagliari. Nevertheless, the Sardinians announced the move yesterday, while the paperwork they filed with the league explains that it’ll be a loan with an obligation to buy for €16 million next year.
El Cholito should fit in with gli Isoli perfectly in terms of mindset, as his non-stop motor will immediately endear him to defensive mastermind Rolando Maran. However, with the season-ending injury to Leonardo Pavoletti, Simeone will need to up his scoring considerably to replace the Italian’s 18 goals last season.
Fortunately, he should mesh well with Maran’s Sardinian machine. While he lacks the aerial power and holdup play of Pavoletti, he’ll burst into the channels and latch onto through balls quite effectively, which works with the number of creative passers behind him. His lack of touch and technique shouldn’t be exposed much, provided he can regain his confidence.
That’s really the question here. If Maran can settle him in quickly, we could see the player who scored 14 goals (and none of them penalties) and added 5 assists in 2017-2018 rather than the mournful figure who managed just 6 last time out. We’re betting on a return to form, given the interest from other teams who know what they’re doing—Sampdoria were also hot on his trail—and general quality of the player. Perhaps that’ll make it sting less when he puts 3 past Fiorentina in their first meeting this year.
So long, Giovanni. You’re young, talented, and should get back on an upward trajectory shortly. We believe in you even as you’re leaving and are happy everyone in this situation wins. You get a fresh start, Cagliari get an excellent player, and Fiorentina get a player who simply didn’t seem to fit there off the books.