When Fiorentina paid €11 million for Pedro Guilherme Abreu dos Santos this summer from Fluminense, we were all very excited. Perhaps the most impressive young striker in Brazil last year, only a cruciate ligament injury kept him from moving to Real Madrid for megabucks. The thinking was that with Kevin-Prince Boateng and Dušan Vlahović on the roster, he wouldn’t have to rush back and could instead focus on getting healthy and settling into Florence; we expected Vincenzo Montella to ease him into the action, and for the forward to repay him by hitting double figures in the league.
That’s not what happened. Montella refused to use the new acquisition even after he’d gotten the okay from the medical staff, relegating the 22-year-old to the bench, from where he’s played 59 minutes across 4 appearances. It’s safe to say that the Italian dream has yet to materialize for the biggest signing (besides Franck Ribery) the club made this year.
It’s no surprise, then, that other teams are lining up their offers for him. While the Viola aren’t going to sell their prize asset after just 3 months, a loan move away looks like a good solution, as it’ll allow him to get regular playing time, rebuilding his confidence and giving him a clean sheet for next year. We’ve heard rumors of up to 10 outfits chasing him, with Gremio trying to bring him back to the other Serie A; o Tricolor seem to be at the head of the queue, although they’ve reportedly refused to include defender Walter Kannemann in the deal.
Flamengo and Beşiktaş (who did pretty well with the last big-money Viola striker they got on loan) are also thought to be in the running, as well as half a dozen more sides scattered throughout Europe and Brazil. It’s no surprise, given that he scored 15 goals in 29 appearances for Fluzão over the past 2 years. On his day, he’s a monster of a striker: not the fastest, but strong, quick, excellent on the ball, lethal with his finishing, and brilliant in his link-up play. Despite his season thus far—and we’ve heard some less-than-complementary things—that player is still in there. 3 months away, some consistent run on the pitch, and some goals should bring him back out for next year.
While the reliable Massimo Basile thinks that Daniele Pradè has already decided the striker’s fate, we’re all still in the dark. There’s a chance that Giuseppe Iachini, who’s almost always used two strikers, will want to keep him around. But if he goes, expect it to be a short-term move with a triumphant return in the summer. We’re still really convinced that he’s going to be a superb striker for Fiorentina, whether that’s this year or next.