With Dušan Vlahović maybe edging towards the exit (well hello there, Antonio Conte and Tottenham Hotspur), Fiorentina will likely explore possible replacements in the January transfer window. While Torino’s Andrea Belotti has been billed as the best possible replacement, the Viola look as if they could return to the River Plate well with Julián Álvarez.
Fiorentina scouting maestro Nicolás Burdisso, interviewed by La Nación, named Álvarez as the player in Argentina he sees as most ready for a jump to Europe. It’s a fun interview and worth reading (Burdisso names his top five Argentines in Viola history), but it’s hard not to see him highlighting Álvarez as having some significance.
Burdisso, of course, is noted for his strong relationships with teams in his home country of Argentina, largely predicated on his stint as sporting director at Boca Juniors before he came to Florence. He was also instrumental in signing Argentina international Nicolás González and, in the aforementioned interview, discussed bringing more players from the Primera División, so it’s definitely possible to read this as a statement of intent to sign Álvarez.
As a player, he looks like the real deal. He’s got 11 goals and 5 assists in 15 appearances this year, which comes out to a gaudy 1.32 goals+assists per 90 minutes. He’s got very quick feet that he uses to dance into space both on the break and in a crowded box. He’s got a knack for getting in front of his marker on crosses and can use either foot, although he’s no more than competent in the air. He’s also got a bit of confidence to his game that some might call selfishness, but you can’t argue with the results. He’s very good.
It’s worth noting that Fiorentina have a good relationship with River Plate after the move for Lucas Martínez Quarta. AC Milan, however are also supposed to be sniffing around the striker, so any move will have to be fast and decisive. €20 million is probably enough to make something happen if they want to add another Argentina international to the roster. He looks like he’d mesh well with González up front, so there’s no reason to believe that Fiorentina aren’t going to make a move if the opportunity arises.