While we’d hate to be overly critical, it’s fair to say that Federico Bernardeschi’s time at Juventus has pretty well been a waste of everyone’s time. The former Fiorentina winger has served as a magnet for critical fans since moving to Turin for €40 million in 2017, and it’s not hard to see why: he’s been quite bad. While it’s not perhaps all on him—getting stuck on the bench behind Paulo Dybala and C*******o R*****o isn’t exactly the knell of death—his performances have done nothing to convince anyone that he’s the answer to any question the Bianconeri care to ask.
With Andrea Pirlo’s takeover as the new coach and the Juvenuts facing a serious financial hole due to their exorbitant wage structure, Berna is one of the likeliest candidates for a quick sale. According to a report in the Gazzetta dello Sport (as reported by Calciomercato), Juve DS Fabio Paratici recently offered him to Fiorentina in exchange for Federico Chiesa. That’s not a shock, considering the arrogance that the Turin giants usually operate with. But that’s not the end of the story here.
Bernardeschi reportedly refused the deal, not wanting to take “a step back” in his career. While you can’t help but chuckle admiringly at his confidence, we’re talking about a direct winger who managed two goals and 3 assists in 38 appearances this year, good for an involvement every 394 minutes. In a side that scored 76 league goals, he contributed to just two of them. It’s glaringly obvious to everyone that he’s simply not cut out for that level. To everyone, that is, except Berna himself.
Of course, Fiorentina would have likely laughed Paratici out of the building had he proffered this deal. Rocco Commisso has said time and again that Chiesa is available for €70 million in cash. A 26-year-old Bernardeschi, while theoretically in his prime and better suited to a smaller team, doesn’t offer near the value of what our Fede does on the pitch.
Too, he wouldn’t be able to set foot in Florence. Don’t forget that, months after pledging to be the next Antognoni, he was ditching preseason training with a convenient case of gastroenteritis to force a move to Juve; while we’re all for players having control of their careers, that’s pretty treacherous, particularly for a kid who grew up in the Viola academy. He knew exactly what he was doing and burned every bridge to Florence that he could find. Accepting him as a makeweight for the current crown jewel would make Rocco about as popular as Flavio Pontello circa May 1990. Rocco’s too savvy for that.
To round out this little farce, we’ve also heard that Chelsea are thinking of adding Berna to replace Willian. If nothing else, this little vignette illustrates perfectly how easy it is to fail upwards once you hit a certain level in life. Can’t wait to hear from the Blues about how furious that are that a certain Italian is busily dribbling over endlines and shooting at the corner flags while Cristian Pulisic and Mason Mount languish on the bench. Who says no?