Last week, Fiorentina officially announced the acquisition of Italian international striker Patrick Cutrone from Premier League club Wolverhampton on an 18-month loan worth an initial $3.4 million with an obligation of $16.2 million to be paid in the summer of 2021.
The 22-year old moved to the Molineux this past summer from Milan where he had been since 2007, but had struggled for form, regular minutes and comfort under manager Nuno Espirito Santo, scoring just twice in 12 Premier League appearances. However, for Cutrone, who enjoyed his breakthrough season in 2017/18 with his boyhood Rossoneri by scoring 10 Serie A goals in 28 appearances and 18 from 46 in all competitions, this return to Italy to play for La Viola could be a match made in heaven.
Despite coming away with a narrow 1-0 win at the Stadio Artemio Franchi this past weekend, scoring remains a major area of concern for Fiorentina as they have just 23 goals on the season, and no real reliable scorer to lean on in what appears to be a grind the rest of the way to avoid relegation. The club’s top scorers are Dusan Vlahovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Erick Pulgar and hot Italian prospect Gaetano Castrovilli with three goals a piece, meaning Gisueppe Iachini could surely use a bit of the Cutrone magic that set the San Siro alight and enamored the entire Curva Sud.
Here is what Viola fans should expect from their newest signing up front the rest of the way.
Cutrone is cut from the cloth of your prototypical number nines. Compounded with an unrelenting workrate, understanding of space and the ability to capitalize on it with movement and a clinical finishing touch, the Italian’s enthusiasm and passion for football help fuel his hunger for goals.
Nose For Goal
Throughout his short term with Milan, Cutrone often performed like a real poacher and pure bomber, feeding off every bit of service into the penalty area and sniffing out goalscoring opportunities that initially did not seem to exist. A simple inventory of the Azzurri international’s 2017/18 season under Vincenzo Montella, and then Gennaro Gattuso, lends credence to a striker who often gets rewarded for his effort and late movements into the box where he can clean up and do the rest.
Service from wingers like Suso and Hakan Calhanoglu are what kept Cutrone eating, as well as the balls played into space when he would run off the back shoulder, prevalent in the Italy forward’s match-winner to defeat rivals Inter in the Coppa Italia back in late 2017.
Hunger For Improvement
Albeit not currently as technical as others in his role, or influential in the build-up, Cutrone’s desire to improve in these areas will never come into question. Fiorentina currently have quite a few players who should be able to supply the Como native with a fair amount of chances, including the previously mentioned midfielders Castrovilli and Pulgar, as well as the starting wingbacks in a 352 Pol Lirola and Dalbert who do well to get up the pitch into the final third. Assuming Iachini sticks with this shape, we can expect Federico Chiesa, who Cutrone played with at various youth levels internationally, to support the new 63 up front with his technical ability, mesmeric dribbling and playmaking, thus freeing up the new man to do what he was brought in to do: score goals and win the hearts of Curva Fiesole.