Tottenham loaned out young striker Souleymane Coulibaly to Serie B in January. How is he getting on?
Souleymane Coulibaly has all the attributes to become one of the next generation's best strikers. Just 18-years-old he is currently on loan in Italy hoping he can make an impression which propels him into the first team picture at Spurs next season.
It was back at the 2011 under-17 World Cup where he built his reputation, scoring a sensational nine goals in four matches including a hattrick against Brazil, for the Ivory Coast.
Inevitably comparisons with Didier Drogba came next, and a move to Tottenham followed, where he has been gradually impressing for the various youth, NextGen and under-21 sides.
Spurs decided the next best move for him was a loan for first team football, sending him to Italian Serie B side Grosseto.
At the weekend he made his first appearance for the relegation threatened side, coming off the bench as the club fought back to draw 2-2 with Lanciano.
In just a brief cameo outing, he made an impression, and while still acknowledging he needs more time on the pitch to gel with his teammates, here's what Grosseto's official website had to say about him:
"The kid definitely has talent and shows it with some interesting personal initiatives, but has yet to integrate into the team."
Hopes for the striker are definitely high, with Grosseto's poor league position, bottom of the league, they are crying out for a hero, and the final few months between now and the end of the season will hopefully allow Coulibaly to try to take that role.
He lived in Italy from the age of 13, going onto win a contract with Siena before moving to Spurs, so the transition will not be so difficult for him to adjust to.
After arriving in Grosseto he said: "I'm glad to have this opportunity and I will work to help the Grosseto to move up the ranks, I want to do well and I will give all."
Now his club need to give him something, regular opportunities and a starting spot. Judging from their positive response to his opening half an hour in a Grosseto shirt, the signs are promising for that.
Are you excited about Coulibaly's prospects if he makes progress in Italy?
image: © tonypeters