Inter could truly say ‘goodnight Vienna’ on Thursday, as they demolished Rapid 4-0 in the Europa League. The result was the epitome of a collective team performance, with no individual coming before the group. As Mauro Icardi watched on, he would have been perplexed as his teammates offered up a unity and an ‘esprit de corps’ not yet seen this term. The evening provided a glimpse of life without Mauro, but the Nerazzurri would still need to add quality should the Argentine depart. Fiorentina’s Federico Chiesa has been just such a target and they will get a close up look at him again this weekend.
For months there have been continual reports Inter are interested in the Viola wide man. Whilst it would be an ideal addition to service Icardi if he stays, he would also be an attacking addition should the former captain depart for pastures new.
Whilst he will not come cheap, especially as he has attracted interest from all around Europe, it is reported that Chiesa’s preference is to stay in Italy. There have also been rumblings in Turin and The Old Lady could prove serious competition for his signature, but the potential of playing more at Inter could potentially sway him, especially as he can look at former teammate Federico Bernardeschi as a case study.
It seems that Chiesa Junior has always been destined for greatness. His father Enrico played for Fiorentina, Lazio, Parma and Sampdoria to name a few and racked up a cool 380 appearances in Serie A. He set the challenge to his son, telling him he needed 300 at least if he was to be considered a ‘serious player’. So far, he has 88 appearances, scored 14 goals and has notched up 10 assists in Italy’s top flight.
As he prepares to face Inter this weekend, he will no doubt be on the top of Luciano Spalletti’s ‘danger list’, as Federico has the ability to terrorise the Nerazzurri full-backs.
Perhaps the most explosive example of this dynamic and skilful performance was exhibited when the Viola tore Roma apart 7-1 in the Coppa Italia. Here, he showed himself at his most venomous, looking more like Roberto Baggio than his father, and his hat-trick will live long in the memory. The performance would have only added Euros to the €50m figure that is bandied around when speaking of his market value.
The Nerazzurri have been looking for a player in a wide position who can get 10 goals plus a season and also act as a supply route for the centre-forwards. Ivan Perisic can do this, but has been disillusioned and inconsistent. Keita Balde Diao has been perhaps come the closest, whilst Matteo Politano is improving, something that cannot be said of Antonio Candreva.
Beppe Marotta will certainly be watching Chiesa with envy this weekend and will no doubt continue the dialogue with his father Enrico that he started whilst at Juventus. Marotta has long been an admirer of the youngster and has Chiesa and Cagliari’s Nicolò Barella on his summer agenda.
Whilst negotiations between interested parties will clandestinely continue in Florence, Federico will not be interested in these Medici-esque plots. He will have the Milanese in focus and will be wanting to take the Viola’s unbeaten league run to eight. Inter in turn will be buoyed by their recent form as they continue to improve without their Argentine striker. The Nerazzurri have won four straight games in all competitions, but will be aware that the man they covet could put an end to this.