If you missed it already, the countdown of the new Golazo 50 is already well underway so you can catch up here…
If you don’t know what this is, it is the annual look at the 50 best young players in Argentina. All the information about the list is in the first part so let’s get on with part nine as we crack the top ten…
As the son of one of Argentine football’s most recognisable characters, there have likely been as many difficulties as there have been open doors for Giovanni Simeone. Just as father Cholo played with ‘a knife in the mouth’, Gio has at times exhibited that same family trait, the same never-say-die approach that supporters adore, and it has seen the youngster overcome early setbacks to light up Serie A and make a goal scoring debut for La Albiceleste.
A leading figure in River Plate’s academy, Simeone was tipped for greatness at a young age and his prolific scoring ability saw a first professional contract signed in 2011 with a release clause of €15 million to match that potential. A senior debut followed but chances in the first team remained few and far between.
That didn’t prevent Gio from dazzling with the Argentina under-20s and his nine goals in as many games saw the striker take the Golden Boot in a triumphant Sudamericano campaign in 2015.
A successful loan at Banfield, under the guidance of one of his father’s former teammates Matías Almeyda, furthered the youngster’s reputation and his all-round link-up play and promising eye for goal saw Genoa eventually swoop. A stunning maiden season in the Italian top flight produced 12 goals from 29 appearances and it prompted Fiorentina to part with €18 million.
Goals have continued to follow Simeone, even if not prolifically, but supporters in Florence have been won over by the centre forward’s commitment. This earned Gio an international debut against Guatemala last September and after finding the net that evening in Los Angeles, the forward remains on the cusp of Lionel Scaloni’s plans.