Kayode shines in Serie A debut for Fiorentina


Borgomanero-born fullback of Nigerian descent, Michael Kayode impressed on his Serie A debut, helping Fiorentina beat Genoa 4-1 at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on the opening day of the new season.

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The 19-year-old has seen his stock rise massively over the past few months after scoring the game-winning goal for Italy in the 2023 European U19 Championship final.

In what was his thirteenth call-up to the Fiorentina’s first team, the versatile Kayode was deployed at right-back in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Five minutes on the clock, Cristiano Biraghi lashed home to give Fiorentina the lead, Giacomo Bonaventura doubled the advantage when he slotted-in a rebound after pouncing on a loose ball and Nicolás González headed home Fiorentina’s third goal.

Eleven minutes into the second half, Rolando Mandragora put the final nail in the Genoa coffin before Davide Biraschi of all people, a defender, pulled one back.

Soccer pundit Daniel Uccellieri was impressed with the overall performance of Kayode in his first outing for Fiorentina, rating him 7 out of ten in his player ratings.

Uccellieri added: “First in Serie A for the young talent from the Viola youth sector, match winner of the U19 European Championship.

“He plays like a veteran, pushes constantly on the wing and makes you feel all the imposing physique of him. A fantastic debut for the Azzurrino, one of the best on the pitch”.

Kayode made way for former Brazil U23 international Dodô with eight minutes left on the clock.