Chasing Chiesa: Can Fiorentina keep their young Gareth Bale?
Background image: JP Ribeiro, CC BY-SA 4.0
Fiorentina had a difficult time in the Serie A last season. The club struggled to maintain the form that has seen the Italian side consistently play in European competition in recent times. In fact, it was so bad that Fiorentina was in danger of getting relegated from the top flight...
Former manager, Vincenzo Montella, returned to the dugout but that did little to help improve the team’s form. He was able to secure survival, though; guiding the side to a 16th-place finish, just two points above the relegation zone.
In the midst of the gloom there was a shining light. Federico Chiesa thrilled fans at the Stadio Artemio Franchi with scintillating displays. Usually, that can go under the radar as an individual player’s performance can be overshadowed by the whole team’s overall poor showing. Not in this case.
The forward has attracted interest from some big guns in Europe. Serie A top dogs Juventus and Inter Milan have been credited with the strongest pursuit as the clubs seek to secure the best Italian talents of the future. Moise Keane is already making headlines at the Allianz Arena, adding his outstanding international teammate at the U21 level would help secure the future to continue the ongoing domestic dominance (or even take it to the continent).
But Fiorentina felt the need to come out and address the situation concerning the player’s link to a transfer away from the side in the near future. The club explained that the winger is the “symbol” of their future and that the team will be built around him moving forward. That was intended to shut down the transfer speculations and get interested parties to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, with performances such as the one delivered as the Italian U21 team came from a goal down to defeat their Spanish counterparts 3-1 in the ongoing U21 European Championship, it is difficult to see how La Viola will be able to hold on to its prized asset.
A certain Francesco Totti is famous for giving his all for his boyhood club and spending the whole of his career there. He was encouraged by the fact that Roma remained competitive during his time with the club and played in Europe. What makes his story so remarkable is that he stuck to the club even in difficult times amidst interest from some other big clubs. But people like him are so rare I can hardly name many off hand.
These days top class talents want to play among the best and win as many accolades as they can during their playing career. The recent form being displayed by Fiorentina is not one that will encourage a player to stay put in the face of lucrative offers from elsewhere no matter how much they love the club...
Only a thorough revamping of the squad and a strong performance in both domestic and continental football can encourage Chiesa to stay put. Sooner or later, he will want to move to the biggest teams on the continent that can guarantee him trophies and a chance to rub shoulders with the best. Eden Hazard’s repeated comments about wanting to play for Real Madrid reveal as much. Manchester United’s Paul Pogba has joined the bandwagon. It’s a trend that will not stop anytime soon.
Fiorentina may hold press conferences all they want to state their unwillingness to let their prized possession go. But in the end, the club will not be able to stop him from leaving as long as a top side wants him badly enough and is ready to shell out the cash for his services.