Giovanni Simeone: Son of Diego lighting up Florence with goals
When Juventus eventually win their seventh successive Serie A title, they must send out an emissary to personally thank Fiorentina. Particularly, Giovanni Simeone. It was Simeone Junior who put a spanner in Napoli’s wheel in the race for this season’s Scudetto. Juve struggled but managed to beat Inter on matchday 35 to go four clear at the top; the onus was on the Neapolitans to win and remain on Juve’s neck. Well, they lost by three. Remarkably, all three goals were scored by one man – Giovanni Simeone, son of Atletico Madrid boss.
Simeone shares resemblance aplenty with his father, Diego. I’m not talking about the physical, DNA has that covered; I’m referring to the football similitude between father and son. Both men started their careers in Argentina before moving it to Italy where they became established.
The disparity between the Simeone duo is in their playing position. While Simeone Snr. was refined into a Kante-like, swashbuckling midfielder, his illustrious son went on to become an out-and-out striker.
He’s yet to match the popularity of his father, but the younger Simeone isn’t doing a bad job whatsoever. At least not this season.
Simeone turned heads last term while at Genoa by scoring an impressive 13 goals in 35 appearances to help them escape relegation to the Serie B. Including Atletico Madrid, Europe’s bigwigs were interested, but it was the Tuscans who won the race to extend the Argentine’s stay in Europe.
Young non-European players coming through need nothing but playing time and trust to blossom. Simeone got that under the tutelage of Stefano Pioli at Fiorentina. With the Viola, Gio was presented with the number 9 shirt and tasked with leading the attack; Something he never got while struggling to make an impact with River Plates, back home.
The 22-year-old has gracefully carried the massive responsibility placed on his shoulders; poaching 13 Serie A goals in 34 outings. His hat-trick against Napoli directed some spotlight his way but did nothing to derail the hunger and focus of a young player who desperately wants to see his team qualify for Europe at the end of the season.
Known for possessing the tenacity associated with Simeone Snr, his son is a cool-headed, young centre-forward with pace, fighting spirit and a will to succeed. Once again, big European clubs are on his tail.
Simeone could get even better at bigger stage than Fiorentina presents. These three are his most likely destination if he chooses to leave the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
The young South-American poacher is on the radar of Spurs. Although Harry Kane isn’t complaining about the immense goalscoring load on his neck, the Englishman needs support – Tottenham needs another striker who can competently deputise for Kane or partner the England captain.
In recent times, Mauricio Pochettino has signed Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente but none has shown any promise. Young and industrious, Simeone is someone who’d fit right into the project at North London.
Simeone’s father played for Inter in the late 90s and won the UEFA Cup with the Nerazzurri. The Milan twin has courted the Atleti coach without success in the past. Perhaps they’ll have some success with his son.
Simeone has acquired some experience regarding Italian football and could do well partnering Mauro Icardi at the San Siro. That can only happen if Inter can match the £13million Fiorentina paid Genoa for him.
Juxtaposing Giovanni Simeone against la Rojiblancos strikers in terms of goals and assists this season, only Antoine Griezmann has performed better. With his father in charge, a move to Madrid would make sense for the striker. Diego Simeone hasn’t hidden his desire to one day coach his son. It could happen next season.
Meanwhile, Giovanni Simeone continues to win the heart of Florence with his goals.