Jonathan Ikoné, a Frenchman who makes no noise in Florence


Regular holder with Fiorentina, Jonathan Ikoné dreams of a title in the Europa League Conference on Wednesday. And a return to the France team.

By Sebastien Ferreira


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Jonathan Ikoné is one of the faces of Fiorentina’s attack this season. Andrea Staccioli / Insidefoto / PANORAMIC

He left the radars almost as discreetly as he entered them. On September 7, 2019, Jonathan Ikoné honored his first cap in the French team with a goal, during the Euro qualifiers against Albania (4-1). He was again summoned to the Blues, exactly a year later. It was, so far, the last time.

Since then, Ikoné has left France and Lille. The striker migrated to the heart of Italy, to Florence, in January 2022. He hardly missed a match in a season that takes him to a Europa League Conference final, this Wednesday (9 p.m.) against to England’s West Ham.

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Blues ? « I can’t say that I don’t think about it »

Out of 53 possible matches, Ikoné played 51 (including 36 as a starter). The right wing of the Fio is that of the pure product of PSG, that of its dribbling, its imbalance and its liveliness. There had already been flashes at LOSC. But the Ikoné of Florence has « a bigger cardio“, he estimated in the columns of The Team two weeks ago. He also progressed indeep calls« , tamed this constant desire to have « the ball in the feet« . A more successful, more mature player, looking to take the final step.

This last cap, Ikoné (25 years old) associates it with its limits in the last gesture (6 goals and 7 assists this season). It is also the one that would allow him to knock on the door of Didier Deschamps, who is spoiled for choice in the offensive sector. « I can’t say I don’t think about itrecognized Ikoné, who appreciated the course of the Blues at the last World Cup. « But I’d rather congratulate them face to face than Snapchat.“, he summarized.

Steady progress in Italy

Leaving Ligue 1 for Serie A, Ikoné stepped back to jump better. The visibility is no longer the same vis-à-vis the Blues, but the progress is real. « It’s a physical championship, I think it works more here than in France“, noted the native of Bondy, city of a certain Kylian Mbappé who described Ikoné as “brotherin 2019, long before being named captain of the Blues. With the Fio, Ikoné has never played so much, never weighed so much for a team. And he has rarely sung the praises of his coach so much.

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Vincenzo Italiano,he is a great coach», Rejoices the Frenchman. « He obviously likes that we respect the tactics, but afterwards, with the ball, he leaves us a certain freedom», Appreciates the attacking midfielder. The results speak for themselves: Fiorentina, 8th in Serie A, reached the Italian Cup final and a first European final since 1990 (UEFA Cup). If they win the C4, the Florentines will be « as happy as if we had won the Champions League“Ikoné swears. Especially since the first national final was lost, against Inter Milan on May 24 (2-1).

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Vincenzo Italiano giving instructions to Aleksa Terzic in April 2023. JENNIFER LORENZINI / PANORAMIC

Fulfilled, patient, Ikoné drinks from good football in Tuscany. Could the Europa League Conference final be the match that will bring him closer to the Blues? « I count on every weekend for this, every weekend is important“, sweeps Ikoné. For the Viola, eternal supporting role in Italy, a continental trophy would still have a special flavor.

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