Rocco Commisso’s reign as the Fiorentina owner has been predicated on one thing, and that one thing is keeping Federico Chiesa in his purple 25 shirt. However, the player and his entourage, including dad Enrico, have reportedly been requesting a move away for much of the summer. While losing Fede would be a huge blow to the Viola on the pitch, his subtraction would have significant impacts elsewhere.
As we see it, there are three potential results from this situation. The first is that Commisso convinces Chiesa and company to spend at least another year in Florence. We’re not ruling this out yet, as Rocco has spent his career building a reputation as a charming pitch-man who can close a deal as well as anyone in the world. With experts like Adam Digby questioning whether or not Chiesa’s ready for a starring role at, say, Juventus, it’s fair to say that Commisso has plenty of leverage to convince his star that another year (at least) in Tuscany is in everyone’s best interest.
Failing that, only two options remain. The first is a sale. If Fede’s dead set on bailing out of Florence and fighting Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa, Mario Mandžukić, Federico Bernardeschi, Gonzalo Higuaín, and Juan Cuadrado for a spot with the Old Lady, then he’ll probably do just that. Although Commisso has proclaimed that his Italy international is worth more than €100 million, Chiesa making his desire for an exit public would doubtless drive his price down. The upshot would be that Fiorentina loses its best player for below market value; for those keeping track at home, that is a bad outcome.
The final option is that Chiesa asks for a move out and Commisso decides to play hardball. Given how long it’s taken Jordan Veretout to leave Fiorentina, we shouldn’t discount the possibility that Commisso weighs his options and decides that firmly establishing his reputation as a guy who won’t mess around is worth more than the €80 million or so that Juve might offer. While we’d like to see this new Viola outfit develop a reputation as nobody’s fool, it’s hard to find any positives in a scenario that sees Chiesa watching from the stands for a year, thus depriving Fiorentina of its best player or any benefits it could obtain from selling him. Remember how hopeless this team looked sans Fede last year? Imagine that for a full season, and then make your plans for Serie B.
These past few years of Della Valle mismanagement have really put Commisso in a tough spot; while he clearly wants to create a sustainable side (as evidenced by his proclamation that Fiorentina need to sell before buying), he’s also been thrust into what may well be an insuperable situation with regards to his best player. This is the sort of setting that can lead to surprising outcomes and tremendous growth, but can also result in a club being dubbed a pushover and schlepping that label for most of a decade. No matter the outcome, we surely don’t envy Rocco Commisso right now.