It’s hardly been a secret, but Fiorentina officially announced the signing of Real Madrid and Serbia striker Luka Jović today. The 24-year-old landed this morning for his medical and signed the paperwork shortly afterwards, making him the latest in a line of Balkan strikers to ply their trade in Tuscany; if he can replicate the form of Nikola Kalinić (over his first 1.5 seasons, at least) and Susan, he should quickly become a fan favorite.
Luka Jovic is a Viola— ACF Fiorentina English (@ACFFiorentinaEN) July 8, 2022
Official statement #ForzaViola #Fiorentina #ACFFiorentinahttps://t.co/vipJP6jFT3
The terms of the deal are singular, and Sporting Director Daniele Pradè deserves immense credit for negotiating them. Jović will initially join on a 2-year deal, with Fiorentina and Madrid each paying half of his €5 million salary. After that expires, the Tuscans can sign him outright for free and pay him €6 million a year; while that’s a hefty wage, it’s minimal if you consider it the transfer fee rather than pure compensation. If nothing else, Pradè has locked down a young but established international striker for the next 2 years for a fraction of his market value, which is a remarkable accomplishment.
Critics will say that Jović has looked rather lost since leaving Eintracht Frankfurt following his breakout 2018-2019 season (17 goals and 5 assists in the Bundesliga with another 10 and 1 in the Europa League); he’s scored just 7 goals in 69 appearances with his club since then, although his record with Serbia (9 goals and 2 assists in 23 caps) indicates that it might not be just him. Perhaps a move out of the pressure cooker—moving to Real Madrid for €60 million aged just 21 will mess with anyone’s head—is exactly what he needs.
In Florence, he’ll immediately slot in as the favorite to lead the line ahead of Arthur Cabral. With no real weaknesses in his game except for shooting from distance, he should thrive in the chaos that the Viola wingers create, although it may take a little while for all of them to get on the same page. Still, this is a deeply exciting signing, one that could solve a lot of the woes Fiorentina encountered in the back half of last season. If Jović can bang in 15+ goals in Serie A, he should be well worth the investment.