During Italy’s 1-1 UEFA Nations League draw with Poland, one of the few distinctly positive notes for new Coach Roberto Mancini to take, was the performance of substitute Federico Chiesa, Fiorentina’s 20 year-old attacker.
Son of Fiorentina, Sampdoria and Parma man Enrico, Chiesa broke into the Viola team in 2016, scoring three goals, and followed that up last term with six in 35 matches, proving himself already worthy of being a starter in a strong Serie A side. This year he is expected to continue his progress and add more goals to his game, which the average sportsbook online are likely to expect.
Chiesa tends to play from the left wing, and offers Italy and Fiorentina a rare dangerous dribbling as well as a final ball. For Italy, there are promising signs with the progress, ahead of schedule some might say, for Chiesa. Another Federico, Bernadeschi of Juventus, was deployed on the right wing against Poland, cutting in and offering an extra angle of attack. Whereas Lorenzo Insigne, and undoubtedly talented player, was played on the left of the attacking trident, he lacks the pace and directness that Chiesa has in abundance.
Playing Chiesa from the left in the future, and even considering Insigne in a central position, could give Italy a real attacking threat, with any from Mario Balotelli, Ciro Immobile or Andrea Belotti spearheading the attack.
Whether he breaks into the Azzurri first team this season is up for debate, but he is only 20, and for Italy standards, that is very young indeed. At that age, very few players are able to break into their club teams, and the fact Chiesa has been playing Serie A first team football since the age of 18, bodes well for his future, as does the progress he’s made in that time.
Finally there should be a note made of his mindset, which is so focussed on football and the end result. Much of this could be attributed to a childhood surrounded and dictated almost entirely to football thanks to his father. Enrico changed club 11 times as well as playing for the national team, in a playing career that spanned 22 years, and Federico knows nothing different existing in a football world – he needs no time to adapt to it like his colleagues. Soon enough we will see if he can follow in his fathers very talented footsteps and cement himself as one of the stars of this Azzurri side.