The top rumor making the rounds this morning is about Federico Chiesa, who’s apparently handed in a transfer request and desperately wants to move to Juventus despite Rocco Commisso’s repeated statements that Fiorentina intend to keep him this year and build around him for the future. For example, Raffaele (who’s great about posting whatever the Italian rags are batting around at the moment in English), summarized the situation.
Federico Chiesa appears to want to leave Fiorentina and join a title-contending team like Juventus. Fiorentina have no intentions of selling Chiesa. ( | Gazzetta)— Raffaele (@ItalianoCalcio) June 26, 2019
So here’s a confession. I don’t know Federico Chiesa. We don’t talk about his career or his personal decisions. I’ve never met him, which is probably for the best, since meeting him would give me a joy aneurysm. The disclaimer here is I AM NOT AN ACCESS MERCHANT AND AM BASING ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ON CONJECTURE AND MY INTERPRETATION OF PAST EVENTS.
With that out of the way, let’s review a few things we know about Chiesa. First, we know that he’s not an especially public person. For example, he posts on Instagram every 3 weeks or so, and his posts are nearly always photos of him playing or in support of teammates; there’s nothing about his private life, his inner dialogue, or his family.
Let’s move on to that family, shall we? Chiesa’s been guided by his father Enrico (did you know what he was also a Fiorentina footballer?) for his entire career. He was raised in Florence, and his younger brother Lorenzo is part of the Viola academy; remember that celebration against SPAL? Fede’s just 21 years old, lives with his folks, and seems pretty happy with that situation.
Also, he’s 21. He’s by no means the finished article as a player. With a father like Enrico to guide him, it’s unlikely that Federico would move to a club like Juve right now, where the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Federico Bernardeschi, Juan Cuadrado, and Moise Kean are all candidates to work on the wings, blocking his way to significant minutes and possibly impacting his place with the Azzurri.
Too, anyone who’s watched him knows that, despite the obvious talent and innumerable moments of absurd quality he produces, he’s far from the finished article. His decision making can be uneven at times, leading him to lose the ball 5.3 times per 90 minutes this season, one of the highest rates in Serie A. His crossing could use work, and his shooting, while occasionally thrilling, is too often wayward as well: after Ronaldo, he hammered the second most shots off target per 90 minutes this year.
Such profligacy isn’t as bad in Florence, where he’s expected to do more, as it would be in Turin (or Liverpool or Munich or wherever else). At Fiorentina, he has the freedom to try new things without getting chewed out or benched that he’d lack at a Juve; look at what happened to Cuadrado and Bernardeschi, both pacey dribblers who went from starring roles with the Viola to warming the bench with the Bianconeri. It’s tough to imagine an infectiously enthusiastic player like Chiesa relegated to a reserve role.
Keeping all this in mind, is it possible that Chiesa would leak his desire for a move to Fiorentina’s most hated opponent to the public? Yeah, it is. If he wants out, he deserves to choose where he wants to work and to maximize his earnings, but this doesn’t seem like the way he’d go about it, given his past interactions with the press. Perhaps it’s an indication of how desperate he is to get out of a team that turned toxic last year, but the story of him handing in a request to go to Juve (and only Juve) sounds a little bit suspicious.
For now, all we can do is wait it out. It’s not impossible that Fede ends up wearing Serie A’s ugliest shirt for next year. It’s not impossible that he wears its finest (that’s Fiorentina’s, for the record). All we can do now is bank on Rocco Commisso’s personal charm—which we’ve heard is not inconsiderable—deep pockets, and promises to keep the jewel of the Viola crown in Florence and hope that the Federico Chiesa who exists in the real world is similar to the one we imagine.