Over the last few years, Federico Chiesa has become one of the best young talents in Italy. His rise to prominence at the Stadio Artemio Franchi was bound to watch the attention of bigger boys at some point. For how good he has been, Chiesa deserves it.
The 22-year-old’s problems have been highlighted on a regular basis too. His issues revolve around a failure to nail down a specific position and the indecisiveness in the final third. But naturally, every emerging player has similar issues early on.
Since making his debut in the 2016-17 campaign, Chiesa has risen up through the ranks very quickly. He began as a right-winger but towards the end of the 2017-18 campaign, he was played centrally and on the left side of the pitch.
But last season, he moved back to playing more often on the right and then playing all across the pitch sometimes. In 41 appearances in all competitions last season, Chiesa’s goal contributions stood at 17. While last season under Stefano Pioli saw the Italian do well, but Vincenzo Montella’s tenure has changed a lot.
This season, Montella has been using a 3-4-1-2 shape with Chiesa and Franck Ribery as two false nines. In a unique system, Chiesa is getting a lot of freedom and is playing closer to goal than he did while playing wide.
He has been closing the opposition midfielders down, winning the ball and taking it forward. While he is yet to completely be at his best in the role, Chiesa has had a hand in four goals in 12 Serie A outings this season.
He has been playing 1.3 key passes per game, completing 1.9 dribbles per game too. That is lesser than what he had in the previous seasons playing out wide, but he is only 22 and growing constantly.
New La Viola owner Rocco Commisso has not backed away from praising him at every chance. Montella himself had high praise for Chiesa when he came to Florence.
He said (via FootballItalia): “Federico’s a good player who can still grow and will do so with us.”
Fresh reports from SportMediaSet (via SempreInter) have said that La Viola would be willing to let Chiesa go for about €70 million. And the position in which Chiesa is playing, that will not be a bad option at all.
Antonio Conte has Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez play as regular front two in a 3-5-2 shape at Inter. Alexis Sanchez is suffering from an injury, while Matteo Politano has been trusted as a gamechanger from the bench. Young Sebastian Esposito has also got some game time here and there.
Politano has been linked with a move away from Inter. A lack of game time is a reason for that. The former Sassuolo man has made only two league starts this season and is currently nursing an ankle injury. He brings a lot of pace on the counter-attack and that Plan B is something Inter are missing.
Like Chiesa, Politano is very versatile across the front three and also played as a striker at Sassuolo. As the season wears on, he will play more. But it is a case of whether he is willing to wait or not. If he isn’t, a spot will open up in that position.
Lautaro himself has drawn links with a Barcelona move. If he does leave at any point, Inter would have an option in Chiesa. There is a big release clause in Martinez’s contract and with his sale, Inter will get the money to sign another expensive player.
While Chiesa isn’t the workhorse forward that Martinez is, his usage this season shows that the foundations are there. Fiorentina like to play on the counter-attack, with the two forwards operating deep and dribbling it forward. This shows that Chiesa has a very good engine. How he has won 1.6 fouls per game also shows that there is a battler in him.
This season will say a lot about him and his suitability to Inter. And it seems to be going in the right direction.