According to Sky Sports (among a host of others), Fiorentina could close a loan deal for out-of-favor Wolverhampton Wolves striker Patrick Cutrone “within the next 48 hours.” Per Football Italia, the temporary move would give the Viola a chance to buy the player outright, with the English side holding out for €22 million despite the Tuscans’ reluctance to pay over €20 million.
This would put an end to the 22-year-old Cutrone’s brief stay in the Premier League; he joined the West Midlands club on 30 July 2019 for €18 million (a fee which could rise if he meets certain performance goals, which now looks unlikely) as AC Milan unloaded him in an effort to balance the books. He’s made 24 appearances this year, although 15 have been off the bench, and Nuno Espírito Santo has given him all of 12 minutes since the start of December.
Despite his limited chances, though, he’s remained reasonably productive, notching 3 goals and 4 assists during his time at Molineux; that’s a goal involvement every 122 minutes, which is better than any of the Viola attackers have managed this season. With Dušan Vlahović misfiring badly, Kevin-Prince Boateng looking unsuited to lead the line, and Pedro apparently on the outs, Cutrone’s path to regular playing time is clear.
The question is whether he can carry the scoring load for a Fiorentina that desperately needs a striker to step up and convert chances. With the creativity of Federico Chiesa and Gaetano Castrovilli (and hopefully with Riccardo Sottil and a returning Franck Ribery), there should be plenty of creativity; the question is whether Cutrone can return to the form in the 2017-2018 season—when he bagged 20 goals and 5 assists in 46 appearances, often from the bench—or if he’ll revert to his form from last year—9 goals and 2 assists while often playing an unnatural role on the wing.
If a return to Italy can rekindle his goalscoring fire, he’d be an absolute steal and could help inspire Fiorentina to a second-half push. A current U21 international with a senior cap as well, the Como-born forward is likely to have a long and productive career. If he can kickstart it in Florence, it’d suit everyone involved.