Gianluca di Marzio went on TV program CalcioMercato - L’Originale today and dropped a pretty sad bomb. According to the transfer guru, Fiorentina are trying to move Patrick Cutrone, either on loan or permanently, but the U21 international doesn’t want to leave. It’s a pretty massive bummer and a good example of how complex the player market is this summer.
To briefly sum up, Cutrone joined the Viola on from Wolverhampton Wanderers in January for an initial €3 million fee. The initial terms were that he’d stay in Florence for 18 months, at which point it would cost another €18 million to make the move permanent. He’d joined Wolves from AC Milan the previous summer for €18 million as the Rossoneri shipped him out to keep themselves in the black (yeah sure), but he never settled in and they returned him to Italy halfway through the year.
It’s a tough situation for a guy we sometimes forget is still just 22. He’s obviously happier in Italy than he was in England and you can’t blame him for wanting to stay at a club where he was rediscovering the form that made him a teenage sensation. He was brilliant after the restart and seemed to form an instant connection with fellow striker Christian Kouamé; his celebration with Giuseppe Iachini’s is still the best moment of that last month for me. And who could blame him for wanting to live in the world’s most beautiful city?
On the other hand, you can see why Daniele Pradè wants to shuffle him along. With Kouamé and Dušan Vlahović aboard, Cutrone makes a third center forward under 23; that’s too many options in the same age bracket for one position. While Pradè has only himself to blame for this conundrum, it makes sense that he’d want to fix it, especially since a 20-goal-a-year striker in his prime is probably the team’s greatest need besides left wingback. That means Patrick is squarely the odd man out.
Since he’s already on loan, there’s not much the Viola can do about the situation if Cutrone refuses to leave, and that’s probably what he should do. He’s in a great situation to play a lot of minutes for an ascendant club and in a system that he understands. If Pradè can convince him and Wolves to take a move away, clear some salary, and allow for a big-name forward, that’s great. If not, Cutrone will have a starring role for Fiorentina this year and likely head for pastures new in 2021. Either way, we wish him nothing but the best, as he seems like a cool guy and is only in this situation because of Pradè’s shortsightedness.