AGONA Profile: Franco Soldano, the highly rated Argentinian aiming to progress to next level
This week, Olympiacos boosted their attacking options, signing Argentinian striker Franco Soldano from Union de Santa Fe. In connection with the transfer, AGONAsport takes a closer look at the player’s career to date.
EARLY STEPS WITH UNION DE SUNCHALES
Born in Cordoba, Soldano initially began his career with Union de Sunchales in the lower leagues, catching the eye with strong performances. In 2010, he began playing in professional matches for the club, scoring a grand total of 19 goals in 26 games to attract the attention of Union de Santa Fe. Struck by his ability, the latter opted to give him a chance, snapping the striker up in 2014.
TRUE TEAM PLAYER
Soldano isn’t a prolific striker. In fact, that really isn’t the biggest part of his game at all. Although he is certainly a capable inside the penalty box, the 24-year old’s best traits are his team ethic, willingness to track back and help the defence, and create space for fellow attackers. In an interview with gazzetta.gr, Argentinian journalist Lautaro Falcon shed some light on what Olympiacos fans can expect in Piraeus:
“Soldano is the perfect player for a coach. He is an attacker who will sacrifice himself for the sake of the team, tracks back to help the back line, moves the ball with quick, accurate passing, and boasts great discipline. Throughout his entire career, Soldano has never been involved in any scandals. The only major injury he suffered was in 2016.
He isn’t afraid of physical contact. Overall, Soldano doesn’t particularly score a lot of goals, however he’s constantly striving to improve. The Argentinian league has lost one of its finest prospects, but for his development, it’s good that he’s moved to Europe. Soldano has wanted to play in European football for a very long time.”
PROGRESSION AT UNION DE SANTA FE
In four years at Santa Fe, Soldano competed in a grand total of 86 matches with the Argentinian side, registering 22 goals and four assists. To be honest, 22 goals in 86 games isn’t overly impressive for a striker, however as noted by journalist Falcon, he offers a lot more in terms of teamwork and desire to fire the team to victory.
So far, his most productive campaign was the 2017/2018 season, in which Soldano netted 11 goals and dished out three assists in 27 Primera Division matches. In the current campaign, he only managed to score two goals in the domestic championship, but that was still enough to convince Olympiacos to sign Soldano for a reported 750,000 euros. That fee will gradually increase with bonuses set to be paid to Union de Santa Fe.
DAUNTING CHALLENGE IN PIRAEUS
In the last couple of seasons, Soldano has been desperate to make the lucrative move to Europe, but his lack of experience outside of Argentina could make his life difficult. Patience is not a virtue which is associated with Olympiacos, and taking into account the hugely demanding schedule in early 2019, Soldano will be expected to immediately make an impact.
Soldano’s brilliant movement and intelligent footballing brain will create space for the likes of Konstantinos Fortounis, Daniel Podence and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos to weave their magic in the attacking third. The Argentinian, who reportedly possesses an Italian passport, is an expert at escaping his markers and will certainly be hoping to begin hitting the jackpot on a more regular basis. In the box, Soldano controls the ball well, unleashing instant shots on goal. Standing at 186 cm tall, he will be a good target to aim for in the area.