With the 2019-2020 Serie A season still in its infancy, it’s a little difficult to make any major critical judgments until a few weeks have passed. However, one unsettling fact has made itself clear following the opening matches against Napoli and Genoa: Federico Chiesa looks like he doesn’t want to be here. This is a problem for many reasons, but mostly for the fact that the assumed successes of the now-closed transfer window revolve around Fiorentina’s achievement in retaining the services of the young Italian phenom.
As supporters of a club that has established themselves as nothing more than a mid-table side over the past couple of seasons, the departure of a talent as impressive as Chiesa feels nothing short of inevitable. Considering this, it’s no surprise that we all rejoiced in response to Fiorentina’s successful efforts in convincing him to stay. Unfortunately for us, his continued presence has thus far only managed to drive his price down for the slew of suitors that are undoubtedly interested in adding him to their ranks.
The worst part? His skill is clearly still there in spades, but his willingness to put it all together seems to have fallen off considerably since reports came out that he wishes to leave Florence. Interestingly, this pattern appears to have carried over into Chiesa’s international play as well—during this international break, he’s looked significantly more disinterested and less effective than we’re used to seeing out of him. Granted, this past weekend’s matches weren’t too high-pressure (European qualifying rounds against Armenia and Finland), but we still expect more of a presence from one of Italy’s brightest attackers.
If this behavior continues well into the season, it will likely present the most difficult challenge that Vincenzo Montella will have to face during his homecoming managerial stint at Fiorentina. As a manager who appears to be much less of a motivator than someone like Stefano Pioli, he may not be up to the task of screwing Freddy’s head on straight and giving us back the spark that we’ve sorely missed for the first two weeks of this new Serie A season.
While young Federico surely isn’t to blame for all of Fiorentina’s early woes, his recent behavior is certainly the most worrying factor. We can expect our new arrivals to get more comfortable as the season develops, but someone who is mentally in Turin won’t do us any favors while he’s still wearing purple. Let us know what you think—will Chiesa shape up and return to the high-flying form that we’re used to? Will he force Fiorentina’s hand and be sold in January? Are we overreacting to all of this? Tell us your thoughts.