The French centre-forward completed a loan move to Salernitana before Monday’s transfer deadline, with the Serie A strugglers agreeing to pay a reported £300,000 facility fee to acquire him until the end of the season.
After hosting Spezia on Monday, Stefano Colantuono’s side then travel to Genoa for a match set to exert huge influence over the battle against relegation to Serie B. Il Grifone, who are also embroiled in a desperate fight for survival, are now led by Alexander Blessin. The German, who took charge at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris last month, was approached by United’s board towards the end of last season as the club prepared to wave goodbye to the Premier League.
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After impressing at Oostende, Blessin appeared set to be unveiled as Chris Wilder’s permanent replacement until it became clear he did not qualify for a work permit post-Brexit.
Jokanovic, a promotion winner with both Watford and Fulham, was eventually hired instead before being sacked in November. Paul Heckingbottom, who had been handed the reins on a caretaker basis following Wilder’s departure, took over and has won five of his eight games in all competitions ahead of tomorrow’s visit to Birmingham City.
“My football is high-speed football and pressing,” Blessin said after being unveiled by Genoa. “I want my players to show mentality, that they are willing to play out style of football and are willing to be ugly for any opponent,” he continued. “I want grit on the pitch.
“Every game is important. I want us to play with speed, be ugly and also be aggressive in every single moment. We have nothing to lose.”
Blessin replaced former Chelsea, Milan and Dynamo Kiev striker Andriy Shevchenko at the helm when the Italians agreed to buy out his contract in Belgium. After overseeing a goalless draw with Udinese, Blessin’s men are one place and three points ahead of Salernitana, who prop up the rest of the division.