The rumor mill’s been mighty quiet of late with regards to Fiorentina. While the team’s already secured record signing Nicolás González, there seems to be a pretty serious desire to find another wide attacker besides Riccardo Sottil to pair with him; that’s why we’ve heard guys like Pedro de la Vega, Mattia Zaccagni, and Erik Lamela linked to the club over the past month.
The latest name comes from a ViolaNews exclusive scoop, and that name is Jorge Carrascal. The 23-year-old Colombian apparently wants another crack at the game in Europe and has targeted Italy as a destination after underwhelming with Sevilla a couple years ago and winding up at Karpaty in Ukraine before returning to River Plate in January 2020.
Carrascal has been dubbed the Colombian Neymar for his dribbling ability, but as usual with that sort of monicker, it’s not really fair to him. While he’s obviously not at the level of the Brazilian, his ability on the ball is pretty remarkable. He jitters away from defenders with incredibly quick feet, has any number of tricks to escape dicey situations, and then glides into space. He’s also got a penchant for playing really well-weighted through balls on the break for his fellow attackers to run onto, so González and Dušan Vlahović would definitely enjoy playing with him.
On the downside, he isn’t a burner out wide, preferring to beat his man with technique and trickery rather than sheer pace. His inability to settle at Sevilla could also raise eyebrows, but he was just 18 when he made the move and suffered a serious knee injury shortly after arriving so you can’t judge him too harshly for any perceived shortcomings there. Of greater concern is his lack of end result last year: his most recent competitive goal came in December 2020. He’s also been used more as an impact sub over the past 18 months than a starter, which could spell trouble.
He signed an extension in February and his new deal runs until January 2024, so River won’t panic sell him; in fact, they want €15 million, which would represent a 500% increase on their initial investment. Daniele Pradè reportedly doesn’t want to spend more than €10 million on him, which would normally mean we’re just about done here. However, Nicolás Burdisso’s contacts could be enough to knock a couple million off that price, which would put the negotiations back in play, likely with some incentives or a percentage of future sale.
While he’s not a perfect player, he’s undeniably talented and could provide Italiano with a fascinating dimension to the attack in contrast with Sottil, or even the ability to drop into midfield when that extra spark from deep is necessary. While there’s certainly some risk involved in a potential deal, the reward means it could well be worth it. And if nothing else, Carrascal would help sate Pradè’s lust for neck tattoos, which went unquenched last year after snagging Erick Pulgar, Kevin-Prince Boateng, and Dalbert the in 2019.