Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano has left Morocco star Sofyan Amrabat on the bench twice since the World Cup. ‘He needs time to calm down and ended the tournament with pain-killing injections.’

The Viola started 2023 with a 1-1 draw against Monza, then today scraped a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo thanks to the stoppage-time Nico Gonzalez penalty.

It was an impressive return for the Argentina international, who was forced to miss the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with a sprained knee.

For the second game running, Amrabat was left on the bench, which will only fuel those transfer rumours that saw him attract interest from Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and others.

“Amrabat arrived from the World Cup totally wrecked, he needs time to calm down,” explained coach Italiano in his press conference.

“He finished that tournament with pain-killing injections allowing him to even play. He’s still carrying issues from that, had only four training sessions with us and he himself confirmed to me he can’t play 90 minutes.

“I could’ve put him on today, but I didn’t want to risk it. When he is back to 100 per cent, he will be a real added bonus for us.”

Amrabat was a key figure in taking Morocco to their first ever World Cup semi-final, eventually securing fourth place in Qatar.

Those performances saw his price-tag practically triple, earning interest from Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur and more, but Fiorentina have made it clear they will not sell in January.

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