Here we are in the middle of February. The Serie A season is halfway through. You’re thinking about Fiorentina’s relegation chances. And then, out of nowhere, ha ha HA: there’s another transfer story. Thunder crashes, lightning flashes, locusts shriek, and we all wonder what exactly is going on.
The news here is that 21-year-old midfielder Nicky Beloko has joined Neuchâtel Xamax on loan for the rest of the year. The former Switzerland U20 international has landed in a decent spot, as his new club are second-bottom in the Swiss second tier and have a host of injuries in central midfield. With everything going wrong for Xamax (which was only relegated last year), manager Andrea Binotto may give Nicky a chance or two.
Beloko has had a rather rough season. A loan to Gent last year didn’t go well at all; the Belgian outfit sent him back to Florence in January after he failed to register an appearance with the senior side, leaving him to play with the Primavera, and he hasn’t even cracked the roster for the Viola this term.
It’s too bad, as he’s a talented young player who made his first team debut back in 2019. An active midfielder who likes to drive forward with the ball at his feet, he offers dynamism through the middle and a lot more physicality than you’d expect from such a whip-thin player. If he can improve his decision making in the final third, there’s no reason he can’t earn some minutes.
Signed from Sion for €180,000 back in 2018, he looks every bit the Pantaleo Corvino player. That said, Xamax have an option to make his move permanent—no word on the fee, but you’d guess it’s probably quite low and involves a cut of any future sales—and, as he’s under contract with Fiorentina until 2023, you really hope that he earns a full transfer. There’s no real path to the first team in Florence for him right now and nobody wants him to molder on the bench until he skulks away on a free.
Following in the steps of Haris Seferović, who spent half a year with Xamax on loan back in 2011 (unrelated, but how is Seferović only 28, how time flies, et cetera), Beloko seems like the kind of player who could take a year or two to develop back in Switzerland before kicking off a solid career, even if it’s not spent in Tuscany. Either way, we wish him nothing but the best in this new adventure.