This has been a genuinely suck summer for Fiorentina fans. Between Gonzalo Rodríguez being forced out, the possible exits of Federico Bernardeschi, Borja Valero, and Nikola Kalinić, and the Della Valle brothers openly looking to sell the club amidst unrest amongst the tifosi over all those exits, it’s understandable why any right-thinking fan would consider switching allegiance to a stable, well-run outfit like Poggibonsi.
There is, however, one ray of hope, and its name is Federico Chiesa. Inter Milan has held a series of meetings with the Viola over Berna and Borja, with the latter likely to make the switch. Apparently they also asked about Chiesa, and after finding Corvino acquiescent to all their other requests, they must have been shocked to find that Chiesa is where the line is drawn.
The 19-year-old winger (Hey, has anyone mentioned that his dad is Gigliati legend Enrico Chiesa?) really broke through this season, his first with the senior side after a sparkling career with the Primavera. He surpassed Cristian Tello for a starting berth on the right early in the season, and finishes his debut voyage 36 appearances, 5 goals, 4 assists, 5 yellow cards, and a red card across all competitions. More than the stats, though, his fearlessness in taking on and beating older and more established defenders—Elseid Hysaj is still probably having nightmares of being turned every which way by the youngster—was one of a very few bright spots in what was all too often a listless and predictable Viola attack.
Chiesa’s just finished his duty at the Euros with the U21s, and while it didn’t end particularly well for him, he was very impressive throughout the tournament. Now taking a well-deserved break, he’ll be back in Florence in the next week or so, where he should quickly become one of Stefano Pioli’s most important pieces for next season.
Fiorentina’s refusal to even listen to any talk about selling him is comforting and indicates some modicum of a strategy for bringing the team forward: sell off all the older, more established stars, move Berna for serious money, and rebuild the team through youth and the well-stocked academy system. If this is the plan, the next few years might be tough, but it could help the club in the long run, especially as the new stadium (hopefully) begins construction. But if Chiesa is sold down the line in a year or two, we as fans should reserve the right to be pretty pissed off.