Tuesday March 9 2021
Counting on Chiesa

Federico Chiesa has become one of Andrea Pirlo’s most reliable players. Elio Salerno looks at how the ex-Fiorentina man become someone Juventus can count on…

When Juventus made the decision to sign Federico Chiesa from Fiorentina last October, there were many that questioned if the eclectic winger was up for the task. An assist and a red card on his Bianconeri debut did nothing to squash the uncertainty that surrounded Juve’s call to tie themselves into a deal that could potentially cost up to €60m after the initial loan period ends.

However, fast forward a few short months and the former Viola attacker has become a pivotal part of Pirlo’s team. Chiesa has been The Old Lady’s best performer in 2021 so far and a major reason why Juve aren’t even further behind in the Betiton odds. Since making his Serie A debut in April 2017 at the age of 19 – against Juventus – Chiesa has long been touted for a big money move. Rumoured interest from Europe’s top clubs came and went and he remained in Florence for longer than had been anticipated.

The initial questions around his end product, decision making and tactical understanding have slowly drifted away, being replaced by excitement and anticipation as a result of game changing performances. Seven goals and two assists in this calendar year, along with standout displays against Milan and in last weekend’s encounter with Lazio have seen Chiesa become irreplaceable in Pirlo’s starting XI.

The demanding environment at the reigning Italian champions has seen ‘Fede’ flourish. He is talking like a champion and playing like one too. Mister Pirlo has made it known that he was the one who had requested Chiesa’s signing, saying he has “the prototype of a champion”. Chiesa is exactly what Pirlo and his new look Juventus required, a wide player whose attributes can help the Juve coach bring his strategy to life.

Chiesa is direct and his explosive pace coupled with his super dribbling ability allows him to evade defenders in a flash. The No. 22 is always searching for ways to make an impact, as he looks to drive at opponents and get into the box at every opportunity. Chiesa welcomes pressure from defenders and never shies away from the responsibility of taking the ball.

The Italy international has a competitive streak and is just as menacing without possession as he is with it. A willing worker with boundless energy, his industry was highlighted by his fantastic effort for Juve’s second goal in Saturday’s win over Lazio. The build-up to Alvaro Morata’s finish encapsulated everything that is great about his game.

Chiesa’s opportunism and tenacity saw him pounce on a short pass inside his own half. Having poked the ball away from a hesitant Mohamed Fares, Chiesa proceeded to spring a counter before calmly rolling through his Spanish teammate who finished expertly. It was Chiesa’s determination that made it possible, as he recognised the development of play and forced an error.

The 23-year-old’s defensive actions are crucial with Juventini offered a glimpse of what the Bianconeri’s future playing style could look like with Chiesa at the forefront of it. Against the Bianconlesti Chiesa set the tempo. He danced past defenders, hustled, pressed relentlessly and was the driving force behind a Juve team that we have rarely seen play with such intensity for long spells of a match. For the 82 minutes Chiesa was on the pitch he was dominant in all phases of the game.

Alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Chiesa has become La Vecchia Signora’s go-to man, the player that fans look toward to make a difference. He is well on the way to producing double figures for both goals and assists this term, a feat that would represent an impressive return for his first season at Italy’s biggest club. If Chiesa can continue to add more goals to his game, there is nothing stopping him from becoming a truly elite player.

Ideally suited for the modern era, Chiesa has further scope for development and is currently thriving off the trust of his coach and the greater responsibility that playing for Juve has brought him. Having already racked up over 150 Serie A appearances, Chiesa now has exposure to playing in the Champions League, is competing for trophies and is already an integral part of Roberto Mancini’s Azzurri. The player earmarked as Italy’s star of the future is showing signs of making good on that expectation.

Have your say...
Chiesa signing is turning into a wise gamble, Juve need his tenacity and finishing ability, as for Italy the future is here again with many great talents upon us from locatelli,verrati,barrella,keane donnaru. the pcs are all fitting in as Italy will be a handful for any team to deal with its exciting and been a while since italy has boasted this talent on the field let the Tourney begin!!
on the 20th March, 2021 at 3:05am
As a fun Chiesa is a good talent and player for Juventus, But for the believe that Juventus has for winning tittles locally and dream of European tittles, Chiesa must be re-oriented to understand the game in a winning team manner.

He could do this at Fiorentina and get praised but I wont praise him for how much he has cost Juventus failure this season as well as Morata.

They are Selfish and play individually trying to compare with Ronaldo, and this is killing Juve. He caused Juve out of UCL.
on the 19th March, 2021 at 8:54am
Too bad Milan didn't go all out to get him. I know he was a bit over budget for us, but at his age and with his potential he could have been our starting RW for a decade, and could have been sold for a profit if they needed to balance the books.
on the 12th March, 2021 at 2:44pm

Italys team certainly looks strong, and there are some good players to come off the bench as well. Pellegrini, Jorginho, Berardi, Belotti are all reliable players. What do you make of Mancini? I haven't watched much of Roma but it seems he's having a good season and he's got great athleticism. I'd take him ahead of Bonnuci or Acerbi personally.
on the 11th March, 2021 at 10:04am
Chiesa has impressed, he is clearly motivated to prove himself at Juve & whilst he isn't a 'finished article' he's becoming a more reliable player. The key is younger Italian players like Chiesa, Barella, Calabria, Locatelli etc find themselves as established key starters in the respective top teams in Italy or go abroad and further strengthen themselves. There are still nowhere near enough young Italians proving themselves in top teams in Italy and Europe.
on the 11th March, 2021 at 9:34am
What a player chiesa is he is a very special talent...when you see the tight games everyone is saying that chiesa is going to change the outcome of this match and I agree...he did it in Porto he did it again last’s a shame juve couldn’t finish Porto of last night but for me chiesa last night performance was 9/10.../

Italy are going to be amazing at euros...having donnarumma...calabria,bastoni,Chiellini,Spinazzola,locatelli,verrati,barrella,Insigne,immobile,chiesa
on the 10th March, 2021 at 3:47pm
@sam how do you feel?
on the 9th March, 2021 at 11:30pm
Shame. Another bad year for Serie A. In fairness Pirlo is about 5 months old as a manager. For some unknown reason Serie A prefers to take risks with inexperienced managers rather than giving youth players a go. The manager is the most important person at the club. He is the difference between success and failure. Look at the difference between Man Utd pre and post-Ferguson.
on the 9th March, 2021 at 11:17pm
This aged well
on the 9th March, 2021 at 9:32pm
I like him a lot.. however just as most short players, they have a tendency to complain. Complain A LOT.
Keep in mind that he plays in Serie A, a less physical league. What would happen if he would play in Premier League? Beside from that, I think he will have a great future a head.
on the 9th March, 2021 at 1:10pm
congrats. If i had a penny for every time channel 4 comes out with an article regarding a young italian player and an important game coming up, and the amount of times they flop in the game after their article...

I'd be mino raiola

just saying.
on the 9th March, 2021 at 12:33pm
He's always been a good player, but seemed to be lacking an end product.

If he gets his head up more, he could be great. He certainly frightens defenders when he's in full flight. Juve and Italy need him to turn into a really top player, because both, especially Italy, are lacking a bit in the attacking areas.
on the 9th March, 2021 at 12:32pm
This man has surprised me a lot, I thought he was a good player but nothing special. At Juve, especially recently his game has gone up a level and it's great to see. He can still improve some aspects of his game but he's proven he can play at this level. I wouldn't want to be a LB/LCM playing up against Chiesa and Barella in the Euros. Those two will run and hassle you non stop all game and then have the quality once they get the ball to do damage. Forza Italia
on the 9th March, 2021 at 11:32am

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