Juventus speedster and reported Arsenal target Federico Chiesa is a ‘phenomenal’ talent but former Premier League striker Darren Bent has concerns about the Italy international’s injury record, speaking to talkSPORT (25 January, 3.30pm).
Since swapping Fiorentina for bitter rivals Juventus in a £34 million deal during the summer of 2020 – following in the footsteps of the legendary Roberto Baggio – Chiesa has missed around 60 games due to a variety of fitness problems, including a cruciate ligament rupture which kept him out of action for nine months.
So while Chiesa may be one of Europe’s most exhilarating attackers – arguably the most fearsome forward at Euro 2020 – anyone looking to take advantage of Juventus’ well-documented off-field issues would be taking a substantial risk on a 25-year-old who has spent more time on the treatment table than he has on the pitch of late.
Calciomercatoweb suggested Arsenal as one potential destination; his future at Juventus suddenly uncertain.
Arsenal reportedly like Juventus and Italy winger Federico Chiesa
“I like him. I really like him. But the injuries…,” Gunners fan Bent muses. “He’s not the oldest and he’s had a lot of injuries.”
“But you can’t deny the quality that he’s got, and what he showed in the European Championships. He was phenomenal. So, if Arsenal can get him for the right money… I’m guessing (the price-tag) is going to be massive.”
Well, maybe not. Some have suggested that Juventus, deducted 15 points following an investigation into past transfer dealings (The Athletic), may have to accept a knock-down fee for a player who marked his return to action with a stunning solo goal in the Coppa Italia against Monza.
“If it’s £20 million, you’re going to have every top club in the country wanting him. If Arsenal can get him, fantastic,” Bent adds.
The severity of Juventus’ situation is yet to be truly determined, however. And Chiesa is one of the very last players that Bianconeri boss Max Allegri would be willing to lose. Chiesa scored 15 goals and set up 11 more during a sensational debut season at the Allianz Stadium. He has almost been tasked with carrying the creative can all on his own at times.
Juventus legend Alessio Tacchinardi insists that Chiesa, likened to a young Gareth Bale due to his searing pace and dribbling ability, can win the Ballon D’Or at some point in the near future.
“In the European Championships, he was unbelievable,” adds former Italy team-mate Gianluigi Buffon. “In the final against England (at Wembley), it was impossible to stop him.
“After a season at Juve with Federico, (his performances) are no longer a surprise to me. If you do those things at such a high level, it means you are really special.”
A bid from Arsenal this month feels unlikely at present, following Leandro Trossard’s arrival at the Emirates. But if Juventus do have to cash in on key players, Chiesa’s injury history will not stand in his way of a move to another European powerhouse.