A three-goal haul for Boulaye Dia was not enough to secure victory for Salernitana over Fiorentina on Wednesday night, but it landed the striker the 2022/23 Serie A Player of the Week crown for Matchday 33.
The French-born Senegal international gave the Granata the lead three times at the Stadio Arechi, but each time the Viola soon found a response through Nicolas Gonzalez, Jonathan Ikone and, six minutes from the end of normal time, Cristiano Biraghi.
Dia exposes Fiorentina’s right-side weakness
Within 10 minutes of kick-off, the 26-year-old burst onto a pass into space on the right-hand side of the Fiorentina defence and was allowed to run unopposed towards goal, and eventually cut inside and roll the ball past goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano.
The Viola failed to learn from the opener and on 59 minutes a near identical through-ball was played into the same channel, which Dia collected and sprinted to the edge of the box to fire a low drive home to make it 2-1. A penalty on 81 minutes gave Dia his hat-trick, but Salernitana failed to hold on.
Can Salernitana keep hold of Dia?
Having netted 15 goals in 30 Serie A appearances this term, the Granata are expected to activate the purchase option agreed with parent club Villarreal now that top-flight status appears secured, with 35 points gained and Lecce, Spezia and Hellas Verona fighting to not be relegated alongside Sampdoria and Cremonese.
With Dia‘s Spanish parent club comfortably challenging for European qualification in La Liga this season without him, they may be content with allowing the striker to leave, but with other Italian clubs alerted to his qualities may not stay in Salerno long, and Premier League duo Everton and West Ham rumoured to be interested.