Fiorentina’s attack is the fifth worst in Serie A, boasting just 11 goals in ten games. Considering the fact that just Partrick Cutrone and Dusan Vlahovic have one goal between them, bringing in a goalscorer this winter needs to be Fiorentina’s priority.
Reports out of Ecuador and Italy the last few weeks say that Fiorentina are seriously considering Lazio striker Felipe Caicedo as that option. Rumor has it Fiorentina would pay 5 million euros to secure the 32-year-old’s services from the Biancocelesti, alongside a 2.5 million euro contract through the 2022-2023 season. While Caicedo’s not exactly the star striker that Fiorentina fans so desperately want, he makes a lot of sense as a short-term option to give Cesare Prandelli and co. some help.
Caicedo signed for Basel at the age of 17 from Ecuadorian club Rocafuerte, and has stayed in Europe ever since, barring a six-month stint with Al-Jazira in the United Arab Emirates in 2014. From Basel, Caicedo moved to Manchester City January 2008, the last transfer window before Sheikh Mansour bought the club. He scored a few goals there, but was shipped out on loan three times as Manchester City began to heavily upgrade their squad. Caicedo was eventually sold to Lokomotiv Moscow, then to Al-Jazira, Espanyol, and finally Lazio in the summer of 2017, where he has notched 28 goals and 15 assists in 121 matches. What’s most impressive is that Caicedo has achieved that tally while only averaging 46 minutes per appearance. In fact, Caicedo has developed a knack with Lazio for scoring important goals off the bench in stoppage time, dubbed the “Zona Caicedo”.
The lack of game-time for Caicedo coupled with Lazio signing a new expensive striker in Vedat Muriqi is reported to be the reason for Caicedo wanting to leave. Coupled with Fiorentina’s reluctance to spend big for stop-gap manager Cesare Prandelli, this signing would be smart for several reasons.
Firstly, Caicedo knows how to score. His record, while not amazing, is better than anything the Viola have right now. He’s scored four goals in 425 minutes of action for Lazio in the 2019-2020 campaign. Dusan Vlahovic? One goal in 636 minutes. As a physically gifted and left-footed striker, he could also teach Dusan a thing or two about hold-up play and using his frame to his advantage. Caicedo doesn’t score the most spectacular goals and isn’t an amazing finisher, but his positioning, link-up play and ability with his back to goal are something Fiorentina are seriously lacking right now. Keep in mind Caicedo has spent his time in Rome alongside Ciro Immobile, so pairing him with any of our current strikers or a future signing is very possible.
In addition, Caicedo has been retired from the Ecuadorian national team for the last three years. That may not seem like a huge deal, but a player of his age not traveling halfway across the world every six weeks will be useful for the Viola. Although, who knows if he’ll change his mind with how Ecuador are playing right now.
All in all, Caicedo checks off enough boxes for him to be a smart and useful signing for the Viola. If he wants to give up the Champions League knockout stages to play with this Fiorentina, bless his heart, because we desperately need a striker who can score.