Following in the footsteps of Gaetano Castrovilli, Luca Ranieri, and Lorenzo Venuti, Riccardo Sottil has signed on the line to extend his Fiorentina contract until 2024, with an option for another year. The young winger has also received a pay raise of unknown size from his previous €100,000ish deal. We haven’t heard anything about a buyout clause, either, which is good news as well.
The 20-year-old Sottil looks destined to be the next star winger from the Viola academy which has recently produced Federico Bernardeschi and Federico Chiesa. Possessing the requisite pace and quickness for the modern game, he’s less a wide forward and more of a traditional winger, usually keeping his boots chalky and looking to go down the line. He’s not a major goal threat at this stage (although he hit double digits twice at Primavera level and has notched twice in 5 appearances for the Italy U21s), but he’s already one of the trickiest dribblers in the Serie A: he draws more fouls per 90 minutes (4.6) than any player in the league who’s made 10 or more appearances.
He’s had a bit of an up-and-down season thus far, largely because Vincenzo Montella tried to recast him as a wingback to rather disastrous results; Sottil simply isn’t ready for the physical demands and defensive nous that the position requires. That Giuseppe Iachini gave him a brief run up top in relief of Chiesa against Napoli (and true to form, he earned a free kick which should have probably been a second yellow for Diego Demme) is a good sign that he won’t try to recast the U21 standout as anything but an attacker. While he probably isn’t ready as a week-in, week-out starter yet, he’s a fantastic bench option and, if his development continues as it has, should soon be a lot more than that.