Federico Bernardeschi, or he who shall not be named, is at Juventus, and its something we've all pretty much came to terms with. The eagle eyed readers may in fact notice that I wrote a, well, controversial piece in the light of his move to Juventus, and amidst the emotional turmoil, it may have ruffled a few more feathers than necessary. However, Bernardeschi's move to The Old Lady is not something we should ignore, nor should we shrug our shoulders and be resigned to it being an inevitable sign of Fiorentina's intrinsic decline. Rather, we should learn from the summer saga, and dissect why exactly Fiorentina lost, let’s face it, the most talented graduate to emerge for a very long time.
Arguments have and can be made that for his age, Federico Chiesa is somewhat more developed than Bernardeschi was, and this argument has merit. However, one cannot resist the self-torture of envisaging a side which had them both tearing up the wings.
In a recent interview, Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed that he made several offers for Federico Chiesa, but Fiorentina “wouldn’t give me a price-tag.” Whilst being music to Viola fans' ears, it demonstrates a realisation from the board that they must unequivocally avoid a Bernardeschi 2.0.
“I did ask Fiorentina for Chiesa, even up to just 20 days ago, but the Della Valle brothers wouldn’t give me a price-tag,” De Laurentiis told reporters at the Festival del Calcio in Florence.
The fact the Della Valle' declined to even dignify De Laurentiis' enquiry with an answer is fantastic news, and their response, or lack of it, should be their default reaction to any side, forever.
Federico Chiesa seems like a really, really good guy. He has made an effort to hitch himself to Florence and as of now is clearly loving his life at Fiorentina. But how long this will last is another question. One talking point raised in the piece written by myself shortly after Bernardeschi's move was that for the player in question, it was a decision detached from emotion and swayed by logic. Juventus are a huge step up from Fiorentina, and from a sporting perspective, the scope of opportunities Bernardeschi will get in Turin, however limited in the short term, will be invaluable in the long game. There will come a point where Napoli will come knocking again, so too may Juventus, Inter Milan and maybe AC Milan, and let’s all hope that when that moment comes, Fiorentina are much better positioned to ward off the vultures.
Fiorentina look to be guarding Chiesa with their life, and it is encouraging to see. The Della Valle', or any future owner, must not view Chiesa as a financial asset. Florence has suffered enough in the transfer market, and if Fiorentina are to push towards a better future, Chiesa is integral to it. Fiorentina must nurture and embed Chiesa into the fabric of the club and the city, but most importantly, they must invest. Of course, simply calling for investment and expecting it is incredibly naive, because as for now, there will be no investment; the Della Valle's have said so themselves.
Fiorentina need to keep Chiesa chained to Fiorentina and do everything they can to keep him pacified in the near future. Luckily, Chiesa seems to have his head screwed on and he knows that Fiorentina is the place for him. But the landscape will change, and Federico's already reserved place in the Fiorentina history books may come into disrepute. Fiorentina need investment and clarity, and to be certain that Chiesa fulfils his potential and becomes an Azzurri great, the board-to-be must provide that.