Zekhnini: "I'm here to provide goals and assists"



Rafik Zekhnini believes he's up to the challenge of playing in Serie A despite his young age and hopes to weigh in with lots of goals and assists for his new team.

The 19-year-old winger, who joined Fiorentina on Monday and scored on his debut against Trento on Wednesday, was speaking at his official unveiling as a Viola player in Moena.

Why did you choose Fiorentina?

“Fiorentina are a big club with a nice stadium and I've heard lots of good things about the Fiorentina fans. Florence is a nice city too. There's a good coach here and good players.”

You're a young player. How much playing time do you think you'll get at Fiorentina?

“I'm going to do my best in training to show the coach I'm good enough to play during the season. I'm not thinking about how much playing time I'll get; I'm just focusing on doing well in training every day to prove I'm up to playing in Serie A.”

What do you think about comparisons with Mohamed Salah?

“I've seen him play and yes I am a similar player. I'm quick and a good dribbler and I hope to score goals and make assists.”

You've already scored one in your first game...

“Yes, it was good for me but the most important thing was the team played well and we won. It was an easy goal but it was good to score.”

What do you know about Serie A?

“I've watched a lot of Italian football and I know it's a tough, tactical league. I've watched [Mohamed] Salah, [Juan] Cuadrado and [Paulo] Dybala. I think it's a good league to help me improve.”

Do you prefer to cut inside onto your stronger foot or operate as a more traditional winger and get down to the byline to whip in crosses?

“I have a good weak foot so I can get to the line and cross but I also have a decent shot so I can come inside and shoot on goal too.”

What do you think of Stefano Pioli?

“He's a very good coach and a nice person. I'm looking forward to working under him. I'll show him he's chosen the right player.”

What's the mood like in the dressing room and have you bonded with any team-mates in particular?

“Ianis Hagi translates for me but I've met all the players are they're all nice, besides being good players.”

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