Monday, August 15, 2022

Update On Chelsea’s Pursuit Of This Serie A Wide Player: What Will He Bring To Stamford Bridge?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with Caliciomercato (translated by The Daily Express), Fiorentina chief Joe Barone provided an update on the future of Federico Chiesa amid recent reports linking him to Chelsea among several other clubs. Barone shared his thoughts on the future of the Italian winger when he said (via Calciomercato), “At the moment, unfortunately, everything is blocked, so we can only see and talk when everything is over.

“The President has however been very clear, our will is to create an ambitious company that can compete and obtain satisfactions, which can become a point of arrival and not a starting point for footballers.

“Then everyone is free to make their own choices.

“We don’t force anyone to stay, we want players happy to be in Florence, to grow in Florence and to try to achieve important goals with Fiorentina.”

Last month, a print edition of Gazzetta dello Sport had claimed that Frank Lampard’s team are battling Inter Milan, Juventus and Manchester United in the race to acquire the services of Chiesa (via Sport Witness). Therefore, Barone’s latest update will be a welcome boost for any of Chiesa’s potential suitors including the Blues of London as it could open the door for them to seal a move for the player this summer.

Chiesa’s Brilliant Rise To Prominence At Florence

The Genova-born talent is a graduate of Fiorentina’s academy and has made his way up the Italian outfit’s youth ranks before going on to make 139 appearances for them on all fronts, registering 29 goals and 20 assists so far. He has successfully managed to make himself a regular member of Giuseppe Iachini’s first-team.

Chiesa deserves a lot of credit for enjoying a decent run of form at Florence this season. He has been involved in 26 matches for his boyhood team this term, netting seven goals while also providing five assists across multiple competitions which showcase just how consistent he has been in terms of his performances down the right side of Iachini’s midfield.

The 22-year-old has averaged 3.5 shots, 1.3 key passes and 1.5 dribbles in every 90 minutes of football in the Serie A this season (stats via whoscored). His numbers shed some light on how much he has grown as a winger at Florence during this campaign.

Federico Chiesa of ACF Fiorentina in action against Theo Hernandez during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and AC Milan at Stadio Artemio Franchi on February 22, 2020, in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Chiesa has also secured 17 international caps for the Italian national side thus far, finding the back of the net once for his homeland in the process. Maybe, a summer switch to the Premier League could offer him a chance to perform consistently at the highest level so that he can catch the attention of Roberto Mancini and earn a spot in his squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals following the competition’s postponement due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

What Will The Italian Wing Wizard Bring To The English Capital?

Chiesa tends to use his pace and agility to make some direct runs with the ball down the right flank. He excels at completing a few lung-bursting dribbles out on the wide areas and can strike the ball with a lot of power from long range. The Italian youngster is not afraid to do the unselfish work for his team and usually covers a lot of ground to help his teammates out at the back. However, he needs to be more productive in the final third if he wants to become a world-class player in his position someday. The promising wide player can also be guilty of throwing away possession at times as evidenced by his mediocre pass completion rate of 75.9% in the Italian top-flight this season (stats via whoscored).

Chiesa will not only bring plenty of goals and creativity to Lampard’s attack but also increase competition for places within his squad. At 22, the Italian is about to embark upon the prime years of his playing career and is only going to get better with each season. Therefore, the West London giants will do well to win the chase for his signature in this off-season.

Adding the Fiorentina playmaker could also mean that he will be able to provide some healthy competition for the likes of Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi at Stamford Bridge. Chiesa has also got all the skillset required to serve as an ideal long-term replacement for both Willian and Pedro, which will ease Lampard’s attacking concerns in the years to come.

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